Noel Ellis's Official Blog

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

Category: J&K (Page 1 of 2)

ELECTION TIME IN PAKISTAN

 

 

ELECTION TIME IN PAKISTAN

 

Pakistan has been the focal point for India in all its activities related to military and international diplomacy since independence. If we could have had some understanding to live in peace, our countries instead of wars would have made lots of progress. Major chunk of our resources & funds are diverted towards Pak sponsored insurgency in J&K. The additional security forces which have to be deployed to keep that area sanitised are at what cost. Money which is pumped to keep that state running is not hidden either. Unnecessary body bag count of soldiers is increasing and the futility of Kashmiri graveyards getting filled needs to be understood.

Had there been political stability in J&K we would have definitely seen jannat by now. Had New Delhi tackled the Paki game plan befittingly, things would have been different? Actually, had we been serious about sorting this issue, we would have saved our exchequer of millions. There is still time and a ray of hope. Let us bring stability on our side of the border half the things will fall into place. Military is always there to assist the nation and J&K in particular.

One thing that comes to my mind is the “political instability” in Pakistan. It is so prominent today yet still they are able to derail and destabilise the Indian idea of Kashmir. Nawaz Sharif has now fielded his daughter Mariam to contest the forth coming elections. Will she deliver, my fingers are crossed. Bilawal is just a scapegoat. Imran Khan is growing old by the day and his chances are 50-50 this time. Gen Musharraf has withdrawn from the political scene as he knows that it is better to stay away before he is executed for treason. It is curtains down for him.

I was just thinking of another political “budding star” called Hafiz Saeed’s (HS); instead of gunning for his life, let us support him to become the PM of Pakistan. Pakistan as a country is imploding under all kinds of pressures; he will help speed up the process. Gareebi and gurbat are the buzz words for that nation. Let this man come and hasten their disintegration. We know his mindset towards India so we need to be prepared. Let their military takeover, we know how to deal with enemies then.

If HS can be the messiah for Pak, I think we should let him be. Before he will sort out India, China will sort Pak. I was listening to various panel discussion on You Tube about the CPEC and the way the Chinese are changing their demography at a very fast pace. Pakis are providing security to the Chinese to construct this project on their land. Pak has taken a loan from them & are not capable to pay even a portion of the interest back. Chinese are thrusting outdated technology and old power plants along this road. China ensures that only they shall supply coal for power. Let Hafiz Saeed sort the Chinese and the Baluchi’s out, if he can. What will his military eat to save the country from the debt trap then? “Grass”, which Bhutto promised, they will eat to keep India bleeding?

As far as HS support to various jehadi’s is concerned, yes that would be our worry. Our security deployment and policy should flow from that. We also need to sort out our noise makers like Hurriat. Let us offer their services to Hafiz Saeed, that here we present to you people who are hell bent on disintegrating our Kashmir. Take them in your fold and give them Azadi, while we stabilize Kashmir alongside. If love is what Kashmiri’s want, let us give it to them. If affection will help ease their pain let’s give it to them. If they need to work to earn a living and prosper, let us provide them opportunities all over India. For that they have to keep an open mind and move out of the valley.

Let us give Kashmiri people the opportunity to use their natural wealth & encourage tourism. Sustenance on subsidy and sarkari naukri’s is no solution. Youth of Kashmir have to go out to work and not survive on stone pelting money. Set your agenda for peace dear people and implement it. Once peace is restored, rest won’t be an issue. Sitting at home and thinking anti India wont resolve anything. Give peace a chance. No harm giving it a try, prosperity will automatically come.

Let me assure our Kashmiri friends, if you still don’t see the Paki bluff then things will keep worsening. The world knows that in Pak there is only corruption, adulteration, mismanagement, mis-governance, loot and instability besides they blatantly lie too. They themselves are not clear about the vision of their country. Can HS and gang absorb you people to their folds and give you what you dream of? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND
© Noel Ellis

ANUSHASAN IN KASHMIR

ANUSHASAN IN KASHMIR

 

I am reminded of my school motto, “Vidya, Vinay, Anushasan” (Knowledge, Humility, Discipline). As one went up to senior classes one used to be interested in who will be our new class teacher. All teachers had their peculiar reputation, from being strict to being darlings. One thing was clear, if the class teacher was that no nonsense chap then a certain type of discipline and decorum used to be automatically maintained.

I think it is similar in Kashmir. With the changing of baton to the Governor’s rule, a wave of strictness and discipline is in the air. It is being felt that now no nonsense will be tolerated irrespective of how unruly certain Kashmiri people are. They also know that the teacher may use a muscular approach and the consequences are that someone will get thrashed badly to bring anushasan.

In school, we used to be have “cuts” in the morning assembly. When things used to go beyond the class teacher and house master, the school administration used to get involved. The procedure itself used to be terrifying. There used to be a desk on which our Harmonium used to be kept. After the charge sheet was read, the boy being punished used to come and place his hands on that desk. The PTI used to appear with a five foot long cane. The site of which used to give the rest of the school shivers. Whack! It used to land on the bums. I think maximum used to be four cuts.

Now two things used to happen, one this boy used to become a hero in some eyes, that see I defied orders and so what if I have been flogged in public view. What else can the school do? Second, it also used to become a deterrent for the others that look dear it hurts both physically and mentally to act against authority of the school. It is better to behave and stay within limits.

On the funny side this used to become a game in hostels where people used to tie pillows on their bums and practice. Some students used to wear twenty borrowed under wears sometimes. All this was fine & for fun but the fact remained the rod used to hurt badly on impact and left a mental scar too.

Now how do I know danda hurts is a different story?  I used to do something to give Dad a chance to get the cane going on me. He used to tell me to go and fetch a stick for myself. Now just visualise the scene that if you have to select a “Baint” for your own bums. I used to take my brother along and tell him to hit me just to see if I will be able to bear the pain. Imagine Kashmiri’s telling that what weapon is alright to be used against them.

Now if you argue that there has been too much of beating already done in Kashmir and people have become rebellious, I will agree. As students used to reach the stage where they continued to defy authority and had to be withdrawn from school. Same is the case of all those who have now taken up guns against the Indian State, they will have to be withdrawn and eliminated. Some like me will get beaten up for no reason and that has to be accepted and expected.

My mom used to be very loving and she used to plead to dad, “apna bachha hai”. So was the thought process of Mehbooba. She actually never knew how to tackle her people. She in her heart of hearts knew that her own children are on a wrong path but could not exert her authority to effectively bring peace and rather she put pressure, like the security forces to cease fire and also released stone pelters for cheap popularity. She thought she understands her “awaam” as a mother but she didn’t realise that “maa da ladla bigar gaya”.

Be that as it may. Discipline in personal life or public life is the key. You can revolt, be rebellious, be in disciplined, be violent, be dissatisfied, be discontented, be displeased and be disappointed with systems. You can think radically but finally you have to be part of a process. If you think you can fight the system, go ahead and do it. It may not work out. During this time your satisfaction level may further decline leaving you distracted and disillusioned. Loss is whose?

If today all love and affection is poured on Kashmir by meeting their maximum demands, will it resolve the issue? Will they stop all revolt after that? The answer is no. But, if they decide to come under one flag, one constitution, start believing in the security forces & change their stance to realise that Kashmir is India there would be no need of any danda or a strict teacher at all for anushasan to be enforced. Am I making sense? I wonder!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

KASHMIR NEEDS A DIFFERENT MEDICINE

 

 

 

KASHMIR NEEDS A DIFFERENT MEDICINE

 

It took Delhi so long to identify why things were going wrong in Kashmir. “Der aye durust aye” is an old adage which fits in most appropriately. Now that der has been done the requirement is of durusti to be done. There is another one which says “a stitch in time saves nine”. We missed out stitching in time and thus lost those nine-nine-nine-nine soldiers and more. Nevertheless, it isn’t too little too late either. The root cause has been correctly identified and shown the door. Now is the time to do things differently.

Time now is ripe to find the right “man” (Governor) for this job. There are people who have extensively traveled and served in the valley and are capable to fit in the chair. They know the roots of this issue and can contribute positively once appointed at the helm of affairs.

Let me be clear, Governor’s rule is also part of democracy. Unlike Pakistan where the military just takes over. Here we have a method in the madness. The new Governor should be from the forces is my view. This man will have the correct overview, will be familiar with the terrain, routes of ingress and egress, intricacies, sensitivities, deployment, grids, intelligence set ups, gaps in information flow, military tactics, command and control set ups, internal rivalries, weakness and strengths besides having an analytical mind free from dirty politics.

The President of India should give one clear order to the Governor, “sort out Kashmir”. If the aim is clear, the rest can worked out. No ifs and buts please. Additional resources required for such a task can be placed at his disposal. The President should also lay out clear orders to the military, being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces that sort out Pakistan. At least during the period when the Governor is internally sorting things out, Pakis dare not look this side. Hit them hundred times harder if they violate the terms. Keep talking to them but let them walk the talk. Shake them up if required till they beg for peace.

Militants and their supporters should not be spared either. Let these people now understand that if you have decided to stay in the pond then you cannot make the alligator your enemy. The security forces have to be ruthless now. The stooges of Pakistan need to be quarantined and moved out of the valley. They shall no more be considered as citizens of India. Put them in the clink and let them have no communication with the world.

Once situation gets under control then is the time to appoint new administrators to look into various ministries and departments. Let the Governor pick up his people who would be best suited for such jobs. No politicians & bureaucrats or political interference please. Totally apolitical people are the need of the hour to sort out the rot by eliminating what is wrong and why. Their focus has to be what needs to be done and how? They will give out the road map with time lines with people in charge and accountable. Every man & every Rupee needs to be accounted for.

We have experimented with Kashmir far too long. The concoction we made only produced germs where as we were supposed to finish the filth but disease kept spreading. Our doctors were either not interested or didn’t understand the pulse of what was happening. The miracle never happened. Now is the chance to firstly disinfect our land, secondly, change the hospital administration and pick up the best of doctors and nurses along with the latest gadgetry. Let us give Kashmir a complete face lift.

People will shoot me down for being radical, suggesting the undoable, unheard of & idiotic things. I say when politics and politicians have failed why not try something different. I have seen childless couples go to many babas, mazars, neem hakims. They go to churches, temples; gurudwara’s and ask mannats, even wear a taviz for that one wish. The pressure on them is so much that they grab anything suggested to them. When all fails then they go for IVF and many succeed. So why not try something untraditional and unconventional to get rid of the cancer affecting Kashmir. Where there is a will there is a way. However, will of the Kashmiri people is lacking.

Kashmir is our beloved and we have to try alternate medicines. Political, slow acting medicine has been a complete failure of kinds. Now is a window of Governor’s medicine. No harm trying it. Two things can happen, one is failure but why be pessimistic, let’s be optimistic that we will definitely succeed. Are the decision makers willing to take a bitter pill as I suggest? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

A DAY IN THE VALLEY

 

 

 

A DAY IN THE VALLEY

 

“Eidi hazam aur cease fire khatam” reminds me of my childhood when we used so sing, “Tamasha khatam-paisa hazam”. The holy month did not remain as holy as it ought to be. Encounters with death loomed large over the security forces and others too in the valley.

In J&K brushes with death are common.  It need not be an encounter with militants only. If you come back safely after your posting, you can thank God. One has to be prepared for an encounter at any moment. Chances are moment you let down your guard a bullet comes looking for you. One has to be on his toes throughout his tenure. It is a high pressure job.

I remember when posted there I was once detailed to get pay for the sector. I had to move from Kangan to Sharifabad. We congregated at the sector HQ as the personnel were from various battalions. I briefed the party on various drills and contingencies and moved in a convoy of a gypsy, a 2.5 ton (dhai ton) and an LPT (10 tonner) with about 36 people as a special pay QRT (Quick Reaction Team). No waiting for any ROP-Sharopy. (Road Opening Party)

Sharifabad was connected to the main road by a serpentine raised narrow bundh. Suffice to say that the bundh was broad enough for a truck to pass. It was rice harvest season. People were working in the fields. I saw a lot of “Tongas” and horses standing on the side of this elevated road. We were feeling comparatively safe as Sharifabad was just a few kilometers away.

There would have been no cordon and search that night, a good dinner and a peaceful sleep was on my mind. I asked the operator can you see the vehicles behind. He said no. I stopped, got out with my AK-47 slung over my shoulder and waited. The seventh sense was telling me something is wrong.

I said a silent a prayer and told the driver to turn back. It was a long curved road and the rice fields were about 15-20 feet below and water logged. The moonlight was being reflected from the stagnant water. Lo and behold I found two headlights down in the rice fields. All of us quickly dismounted. We got on to the Divisional frequency and intimated them that we need help. The AAG responded and said the needful will be done.

I went down sliding. There were 12 people in the 2.5 ton. We pulled out the driver and co-driver; they were in a daze but OK. The tragedy had stuck in the rear. The dhai ton was lying on its side. Three guys were injured badly. On one the spare wheel had fallen, on the other the jack had hit his head probably and the third was under the dhai ton itself. All were breathing but the situation was grim.

I baby carried a chap with lot of difficulty up the steep slope. The badly injured were put in the LPT. Walking wounded were put in the gypsy. I left a guard of One JCO & 6 jawans as ammunition and weapons of the injured could not be accounted for. Once the critically wounded were in safe hands we rushed back to the site. It was cold but we traced out each and every magazine and weapon even in knee deep water as it was moon lit. Recovery of the dhai ton was left for the next day. Villagers has evaporated into thin air.

I spoke to the driver who told me that he had seen a few villagers next to the tongas, who shooed the horses away seeing our vehicles approach. To avoid hitting a horse I cut the steering and the result was in front of us. I left further investigation for the next day and rushed back to hospital. Three guys were very critical and rest were shaken up with minor cuts and bruises. No one had a wink of sleep that night for obvious reasons.  Next morning two of the most critical were heli lifted to Udhampur, Sad news reached me that one jawan passed away in flight and the other after about two hours in hospital. I had a lump in my throat and still get it when I remember them. God bless their souls.

We the security forces suffer causalities in various administrative moves too. The risk of serving in J&K is compounded as on one side is the devil and the other is the deep sea. God forbid, had a Kashmiri been killed in the incident where not a single round was fired, I would have been answering the human rights courts.

Out of 36, 33 of us got back, two left for their celestial journey and one badly injured came back after a long time of rehab and sick leave. His both legs had multiple fractures as he was under the vehicle. I look back and think life was not easy in the valley. I moved to Manipur from the valley. It was like falling from the frying pan into the fire. Picture abhi baki hai mere dost.

What was the cost we paid to collect those 50 Lakh rupees as pay? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

PAKISTAN MUKT BHARAT

 

 

 

PAKISTAN MUKT BHARAT

 

Four brave hearts walk this earth no more due to the unprovoked firing by Pak on a bunker repair party. Four more will never walk straight as they have been injured & maimed. Living with a splinter or a gunshot wound is so bloody painful. I have seen people scream at the sight of an injection; imagine a shell splinter passing through your guts for no fault of yours. The trauma after the incident, the sleepless nights hoping to somehow ward away that memory of that moment when you were hit can never be understood by any politician or bureaucrat. The moment which takes away a chunk of your flesh and bone would never allow anyone to be his usual self.

I know many people who have lost some part of their body in action with the enemy. They all project a brave face. They may set examples for many to emulate and motivate them by their courage and determination but I know deep inside they burn. They burn to take revenge of that moment which became their life changing moment. The apathy of our government traumatises further & can never be factored in. That pains even more. To fight on paper is far more difficult than to fight in the battle field. These brave men never reveal their inner self. The hurt inside is like an etching on stone. That scar mark will only perish when the soldier finally bids adieu. How many more such marks are acceptable to our country and countrymen?

Once you are sent back home in a six feet by three feet by three feet box draped in the tri-colour, it doesn’t matter. You have done your time in hell. The wailing will die down and the tears will dry but life has to go on. Even the animal in the house is shattered as understands that something unusual has happened. People on the other side of the border do not. Someday we have to do a tit for tat. The scale of damage to the other side should be “tit cubed”. Three times more number of mothers should wail to understand the pain of an Indian soldier’s family. It sounds cruel, so be it.

Many of the injured will be boarded out unceremoniously and face a double whammy. “Arey bunker hi to bana rahe the”, would be the underlying statement. Moment you are found unfit; you would be shown the door. Had the enemy been shooting at you, you would have reacted according to “Seekha hua Tariqa”. When your own people start to shoot you down, you don’t know what to do. Now reality strikes you, when you can’t even give a thumb impression as your thumbs were left in the battle field.

For the bureaucrat you would be just a case study for a new policy. For a politician a vote less makes no difference. For them you are just another “shaheed” for a wreath to be laid on. The neta may promise something which in that moment your family may not be in a position to assimilate. The lady starts a new battle of survival. The Bureaucrat moves on posting, politician changes his party. Fresh soldiers are posted to face the wrath of the same enemy again as cannon fodder.

Shelling & casualties have become a daily routine. It is funny to see media chaps trying to reach places where firing is taking place. The “natak” of puffing and panting shown on TV is to safeguard his naukri. Smoke emanating from jungles and bunkers being destroyed is shown as a fiction movie. Once report is submitted, the focus changes to “man ki baat” far away from the action scene. One more breaking news story bites the dust. One more soldier turns to dust.

The policy of a cheek out every time, an olive branch and a white flag held in each hand will leave more people in trauma. Policy on how to collect taxes is well know but policy how to give a befitting reply to the enemy is yet to be drafted it seems. The world laughs at us for inaction while the Government makes a mockery of a soldier’s life as elections are an electoral “battle” which matter more to them. They use “Ran neeti” for war of a political kind not war to sort out the enemy. Ironic!

Why can’t the government start a campaign called Pakistan Mukt Bharat? No bloody Paki or his stooges dare to venture on our territory. Let us then obliterate these devils; consequences will be for many generations to see. Let us plaster them with an uninterrupted and uninterruptible shelling & fireworks display this Eid. Will our leaders unite for once and feel the pain of every soldier who has given his today for India’s tomorrow? I wonder!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

INNOCENT TERMITES

 

 

 

INNOCENT TERMITES

 

The innocent stone pelters of J&K are turning “innocenter” by the day. They are extra ordinary citizens who can be found praying all the time in this holy month of Ramzan. For what is a different issue? They don’t abuse, they are never violent. It happens so that when security force people appear in their area, stones, batons and bricks appear in their hands by a miracle. They are such naive people that anger is generated in them from somewhere, through some divine power that they start smashing and bashing anything related to the security forces.

It appears to me that their behaviour is akin to people who go into a “trance” when they get connected with that invisible force. Thereafter they don’t see or feel anything, they just throw anything and everything at the security forces in their stupor. The forces are actually there trying to assist them. Kashmiri’s need to understand that people are giving them false hopes of Azadi. This, the pelters are unwilling to understand.

Peace can never be one sided. Violence against the state and its forces will only increase the agony and time to attain peace. If forces withdraw, will all these people who attack the security forces guarantee peace & prosperity for their people? Will all those who are motivating these pelters guarantee that they will be able to look after their affairs. As I see it, these people do not except the elected government also. Can one Kashmiri be at peace with another Kashmiri? The answer is a straight and blunt no.

With limited resources, lack of education, jobless youth and over dependence on government funds, can these guys think of peace? Sarkari Naukri’s are limited. Tourism which became the backbone of Kashmir’s economy is touching rock bottom. Where is the famous apple of Kashmir? The fruit industry which can boost the economy is rotting. The blue revolution is below expectation, actually the fisheries are gasping for water. Animal husbandry needs a real husband to do the job. Timber industry which is so much in demand world over appears as if “ghun” (mites) are slowly gnawing through and turning it to dust.

I was staying in a walnut forest when I was in the anti-infiltration role in Kashmir. The logs which were being illegally “adjusted” in full view of the forest department for “deodar” & “akhrot” were unimaginable. “Janglat Vibhag” was the most “in demand” department. Timber smuggling was rampant. There is no penalty for a tree which has fallen due to natural reasons but how many were felled and reported as rotten? Villagers have been given permission to fell a few to construct or rebuild their houses. One tree becomes two and so on. The forest cover keeps dwindling. Funds for the forest keep evaporating.

Why is peace eluding J&K? I have heard many politicians deflecting this topic by saying; it’s a very complicated subject. Definitely it is! That doesn’t mean it cannot be tackled. Who are the main players? It is the people of Kashmir and their representatives. Then why can’t a solution be worked out? Cessation of fire has been imposed on the security forces, what about the same on the not so innocent militants, they don’t accept it. Is it a political gimmick? Should it be one sided?

Is Pakistan the culprit? In my mind I have no doubts. They can be tackled externally. But, who will sort out these mites who are drilling holes in our healthy wood? I would rather say they have done the termite effect on Kashmir. If the militants are the mites, then the people who support, fund, shelter, encourage militancy and are in touch with Pakistan, sitting inside Indian territory are termites. They are eating Kashmir from within.

By spraying insecticide the disease & decay won’t go. We need to eliminate the queen. Who will identify the queen? I think it has been done already. When a termite hill is attacked, the workers and soldiers are bound to be agitated. They fight and try to plug in holes so that the queen remains safe. The forces have been doing the ant eaters job. Eating and eliminating what is visible and leaving the rest of the nest to recoup, rebuild and keep feeding the queen which keeps reproducing more white ants. The expanding graveyards are witness to it. Government of India has got the wherewithal to just focus on the queen. Distractions and deflections have to be guarded against.

The “innocent” worker ants are pelting stones, the “soldier ants” are attacking as militants. Where has the queen gone and hidden herself? We got to locate & eradicate her. The sooner we get our act right, whole Kashmir will be in peace, India will be in peace, Kashmiriat will return, Insaniyat will resurface and Pakistan will rest in peace. Have I got it right? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

FIRE TO CEASEFIRE

FIRE TO CEASEFIRE

 

Ceasefire has been ordered in J&K. I don’t know will it be applicable to both sides as some forces are hell bent to destroy Kashmir and in turn India. Why a cease fire in the holy month of Ramadan only? Why not every month? Kashmir thus will stop suffering and so will the security forces.

I say why anyone should fire at all and then call for a cease fire. Every Kashmiri has a right to live in peace and so does every man and woman in uniform deployed there. Why pick up a gun or a stone in the first place? If every village decides to cease hostilities, where is the question of anyone dying? I hope militants will be sincere in not violating it for the sake of people of Kashmir. If this time is going to be used to trouble villagers to condescend to their demands to garner support and brain wash Kashmiri youth against India, then time is not ripe to give this leverage of ceasefire. In case they are going to cross the dotted line, then God help them.

Who doesn’t want peace? The security guy will be the first one to grab anything which will help to create a peaceful atmosphere. He is fed up of roaming day in and day out in unknown territory, checking unknown people, whose intentions behind those fake smiles are not known. He also wants to sit and enjoy a kahwah and wazwan. He also wants a “Sunday” to rest. They fire at him and stone pelt him. Then only the soldier retaliates. Who actually needs to cease fire then?

If our own convoys cannot pass safely in our own territory then it should be a matter of shame for the Kashmiri people. It looks pathetic that security forces have to place guns on top of our vehicles to kind of intimidate the militants warning them to dare attack us. The common citizen has to pay the price by getting inconvenienced, delayed, diverted and threatened of dire consequences if a convoy is harmed. The militant comes, does his job and melts away, Common man bears the brunt.

Let us then ceasefire like this on mutually agreed terms. No firing or militancy related activity in the months of January as it is the first month of the year. February, we have Valentine’s Day so everyone to give and take love. March is Holi and time for spring. So let us enjoy the fruits of nature. May and June are too hot and June also being the month of Ramadan, so let us forget our animosity. July is monsoon, time for a break. August is when India attained independence & Id time, so why fire then. September and October are months of Dussera-Diwali. November is my birthday, so please don’t fire. December again is time for Christmas so let peace prevail. Let this cycle repeat.

If peace is the requirement of the valley people, then it is they who need to create an atmosphere for peace. The security forces will take nine steps but you take one. Security forces cannot be only on the receiving end always. The forces will continue to keep their vigil and stick to their word. People of “jannat”, when will you understand this? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

JAI HIND & JAI KASHMIR

I got a chance to listen to the PMs Independence Day speech only late in the day. The phrase that caught my ears was “Na Goli se, Na Gaali se Kashmir ka masla hal hoga Kashmiri ko gale lagane se” and words to that effect (Neither with bullets nor with abuses can we resolve the problem of Kashmir; it can be resolved only by embracing them). Well PM Sahib, I have an issue here with what you said. On one hand you say that you won’t leave any “ATANKWADI” or his supporter, right. On the other hand you want to embrace Kashmiri’s some of them who are militants. On one hand you see a role of security forces; on the other hand you don’t want to fire a bullet. On one hand you don’t want to talk to Pakistan till it behaves as they understand only gaali’s, right. You also want to teach Pak a lesson for what it does in Kashmir. You want peace and prosperity in Kashmir without getting the elected representatives of Kashmir moving. Now you come out with this goli-gaali Jumla. I am now thoroughly confused sir, what do you mean and how do you propose to do what you say?

You want the Central Government to work hand in glove with the state government, right. If I understand correctly that funding to Kashmir that has been going on till now shall continue like hither to fore, right. Everyone will know the package you announce but no one will know how it will be utilized. The Kashmiri politician will know where and how it has to be utilised but the Kashmiri population you want to embrace will not know where the hell this fund has gone. The State government will demand more and you will give more from your benevolent funds that you have at your disposal. I as a tax payer and a contributor to your funds will never know on what scheme was this money spent on ever. Your FM will account for every “paai” he releases and announce it to the world but how much will be swindled, mis-utilised and seep out of the system, no one will ever come to know. I don’t have to remind you about terrorist funding Sir, which needs to be eliminated too.

I had seen border roads organisation working and maintaining most of the roads in Kashmir, if I am correct. Most of the infrastructure projects like the rail and major highways funded from the centre employ maximum locals, right. How much more infrastructure they require can someone give a road map? Why is the Kashmiri so lethargic? Why is the pace slow? Is it because the local contractors are slow? Or is it because of the sluggish attitude of the Kashmiri people? Or is it the threat to any project by the militants which slows projects? Is it lack of supervision at the governmental level and accountability of the officials? I have seen myself, people working on projects having cups after cups of tea, discussing everything under the sun, closing shop early to reach home before sun down. PM Sahib, can a reality check be done how work is done there? You are in for surprises, if not shock.

Do we have a dearth of infrastructure companies in India? Answer is no. Then why can’t they work in Kashmir, if Kashmir is part of India? Why can’t the labour be taken from rest of India to expedite projects ultimately an Indian is working on an Indian project. Why a company has to work at the Kashmiri pace which is like get up in the morning, warm up your Firan with a Kangri, wait for the blood circulation to increase, smoke a few biris till mood to work sets in, curse the world around, look for fire wood and gucchi the whole day and by 3pm pack up and head back home. Winter months as it is there won’t be any work due to snow. During monsoons the rains stop projects, rest of the months there is hardly a window to work and one has to catch up on gossip. If GREF can take labour from Bihar and build the Tangtse-Pangong Tso road, what is the problem in Kashmir. Is work the problem or is it the work culture? I believe no one is marked absent after all it is welfare of Kashmiris.

I say, catch hold of all the stone pelters and tell them to crack boulders for the next road project. Pay them the same amount they get for pelting. Give them food and shelter till a project is completed but make them work. Question is that is he willing to work? Will he contribute to the progress of Kashmir he has dreamt of? I further say, you want to agitate; you want to protest, do it after 10 years and during this time work dedicatedly for what Kashmir needs. Let there be power generation all over. Let there be cold storage chains professionally managed all over. Let there be best of fisheries, saffron and fruit production. Let there be a full scale furniture industry, woollen garment industry, fruit canning and pickling industry. Let train and plane loads of cargo be flown in and out of Kashmir. In case of landslides and road blocks, let everything go by alternate means of transport. Is it possible?

My idea may sound absurd, bizarre, ridiculous or even silly but it is an idea worth thinking of Mr PM. Make the representatives of the people of J&K accountable to their own people. Embrace the people once they are willing to work on their dream projects. Shake up the typical lethargy of the people and let them be handled professionally. Pay them when they work, pay them on the quality of output they produce. Let the security forces help them to create an environment for their own betterment. Weed away the “gaddars” and traitors. PM Sahib you will get jhappis if your vision is made into a mission.

Let tourism flourish. Engage locals to provide security to all visiting Kashmir. Let the security forces become friends of Kashmiri people. Help the forces change Kashmiri outlook towards India and life. Let prosperity come and then let the goli be only for Pakistan and the traitors. Let gaali be only for terrorists and their supporters and jhappi for the common Kashmiri people who have been torn apart from this strife due to utter neglect, lack of vision and transparency. Create a framework for them to accept the tri-colour from their heart. Give them the dignity they deserve. Your change of stance from gali to jhappi without goli will materialise soon. Take a decision, now!

Will I ever hear JAI HIND-JAI KASHMIR there, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

SACHIN PRESENT SIR REKHA PRESENT MAM

It was sad to hear when Sachin and Rekha were made punching bags by media lately. Everyone was after their blood to quit their Rajya Sabha seats for absenteeism. News has to be created out of thin air thus media went hammer and tongs after them. Now that they are parliamentarians too, so why not take pot shots at them. Teer nishane par lag gaya to theek, nahi laga to Wah.

Sachin has been a heart throb of every Indian irrespective of caste, creed, age, religion, region and language. His religion was cricket, his cast was Indian, his creed was batsman, he spoke through his bat and the beauty was it was understood by everyone without an interpreter. His age was timeless and no one wanted him to retire. His time spent on the field for this nation need not be counted. The sweat, blood, injuries, sacrifices for the country he made was nothing but his dedication and devotion. That is why he was called the God of cricket. It was his character, his humbleness, his records, his fan following and support which got him the coveted Bharat Ratna. Isn’t this enough to grant this man his due? He does what he knows best, that’s why he is a master blaster. Could you have found anyone better than him excelling in the sports field?

A word about Rekha, she was my personal favourite in the good old days. I haven’t seen her much in the recent days as my interest in movies has dwindled drastically. All said and done she stole the hearts of many of us. Men with dropped jaws, women with wide eyes and gaping mouths have always admired her ageless beauty. This lady also transformed from a typical small time actress to being a super star of her times by sheer hard work. Age defies her. Her work and dancing skills are still a matter of awe for many. From 1966 to 2017 almost 50 years she has been entertaining you and me. She is also a recipient of the coveted Padam Shri award. What else do you need from her in parliament? She doesn’t like the same old boring story being repeated daily, with the same old actors and directors in the parliament. She seems to dislike her role due in the political amphitheatre.

Parliament on the other hand is justified to ask for their presence. They can question them for the pay and perks which members of the upper house enjoy. Frankly, will it matter to them if you withdraw their pay and allowances? Each signature Sachin does for charity fetches more than his monthly perks as an MP. Each sari which Rekha wears or for that matter every piece of jewellery she adorns may be equivalent to many months pay of a few parliamentarians. It will not make an iota of difference in their earnings. The benevolent causes they may have taken up, the charity they must be doing, I am sure they would be using what the government is paying them for all such noble causes. By the way I don’t mind paying my taxes for such outstanding sportspersons and actors. They have done it for us and now it is our turn to pay them back which is the least we can do, I feel.

Let me then question the parliamentarians, that sirs what do you discuss all day in the august houses. The speaker except for shutting you folks up and trying to listen to someone somewhere trying to put across a point has to ultimately adjourn session after session because of the indiscipline of you people. You don’t follow the decorum of the temple of democracy, you shout slogans and abuses. You throw chairs, mikes and tables at each other, you watch porn inside the house, you people just don’t like to listen to the arguments or debate, on top of that you guys sleep and snore. Is it correct sirs?

One stone on Rahul Gandhi’s car becomes an issue for a walk out, doesn’t he understand that people of India are giving him a message. No one talks of stone pelters of Kashmir though. One IT raid on a leader’s house brings all proceedings to a grinding halt. The common man doesn’t know what to expect from you guys. Will you let it function or will you just disrupt proceedings. If there is so much of unruliness in your behaviour why expect people like Sachin and Rekha to waste their time looking at the tamasha unfolding. Last day of a session you realise many bills need to be passed. First bill to be passed is about your pay hike like first day first show, or an opener hitting first ball six. So let Sachin and Rekha enjoy their innings. They are not the first ones to elude your noble company.

Both these personalities come from a field which needs discipline, which works on perfect timings; you have to give a perfect shot. It might be in cricket or the screen. Your moves have to be just right. Your decisions are split second. Your memory and instincts to play the game have to be perfect with no scope of errors. In their professions one cannot cheat, where as in parliament I see it happening otherwise. This political drama plays with emotions of the common man, with their sentiments. You play to divide not to unite the population. A game lasts for either a fixed time or overs; a movie lasts a stipulated time but drama of the political nature has no fixed time, date, or direction. The aim of actors and sportspersons is to entertain people to win their hearts; the entertainment value of parliament is for selfish gains of votes. Aim of the player is to win but if he loses he has to show the sportsman spirit of being a good loser. In parliament the looser lacks this spirit. The loser knows he is wrong but due to the immunity parliament gives him he speaks and gets away with anything. Is it correct?

Both these personalities I mention are icons of their own kind. Show me one in parliament worth that praise. They have been from heartthrobs to divas for many a people. They have been leaders in their own fields. They have captained their sides well. They have saved many games and movies single handed due to their mere presence. They have made us Indians proud with their positive approach to their professions. The dedication they show and the perseverance with which they maintain themselves to stay fit to play and act another day is incomparable.  Let us leave them alone.

I also want to suggest that instead of getting after their attendance, get after the parliamentarians to stop disrupting everyday for reasons which have no relevance. Fine those who break rules. Discipline those who take law into their own hands. Like we keep essence and fragrances to top up our puddings, let Rekha and Sachin be those flavoured sprinklings. Once in awhile when they come to the parliament it should be enough to enhance the taste and flavour of the Khichri the parliamentarians’ cook every day. Am I asking for too much, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!

 

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

PILGRIMAGE WITH A TRAGIC END

The modern definition of pilgrimage means an excursion or a tour? This definition fits in as a classic case as far as the Amarnath yatra of today is concerned. Like minded people, like aged people, people from the same societies and buildings, big families, people with one tour operator, all get together to go on an excursion to enjoy the picnic and darshan, killing two birds with one stone. What I observe today is that the voluminous numbers of people thronging to these places with very less civic sense and no love lost for nature and its serenity.

It was very unfortunate to see the Amarath Yatri’s getting butchered for not being aware of the procedures to be followed in a state which is on fire even with protection of so many forces. There may be more pilgrims who could not have finished their journeys as they may have been called back by their makers above. My limited point here is that can we be more cautious and alert especially while being in J&K and especially K. Security forces cannot be present 24×7 at every inch of the route. Let us not lose innocent lives anymore. The sense of achievement which comes after the yatra is tremendous. People feel that if it has been so far so good, it will be same till the end. If we don’t come back it is HIS will. Let us not become callous thus vulnerable and give militants a chance to achieve their aim.

Militants have embarked on their spiritual quest or pilgrimage in the name of jihad to meet their maker and be in HIS divine presence with 72 as promised. Their quest is for jihad for Kashmir, jihad against India, jihad against Indians, jihad against hindu’s or outsiders (Kafirs as they call the non believers), I don’t know. But one thing is sure that they are walking a very tight rope. One wrong step and they are sure to plunge to death, when alongside this rope there is a broad road of peace. The choice is theirs, their beliefs, their faith, their conviction which I cannot alter. I can only reassure them, that there are people in the olive green who will assist the terrorists to be relieved of their earthly journey very soon. The more you spread terror, the more you intimidate people, the resolve of security forces to dissolve you increases. Are you cowards listening? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

 

FINDING THE RIGHT SOLUTION TO KASHMIR

I was listening to Mehboobaji on the issue of Article 356 and the flag of J&K. I thereafter heard various discussions on what she said, what she meant, what does it signify, what does it imply etc and made my own conclusions which I shall reveal as this article unfolds. Is she right? I doubt, but if she is wrong, then there is an issue of a very large scale brewing to explode. I am convinced Kashmiri’s can only give a solution for Kashmir. But are all Kashmiri’s on the same grid? Is the present J&K Govt on the same grid with the Govt in Delhi? I as a common man feel that communication is lacking. There is a weak effort to resolve what needs to be done. Calling for a plebiscite doesn’t work in democracy. When you madam represent the people of Kashmir, (if you really represent them), then tell us where do you stand and the measures you propose to stop this mayhem. Expecting only Central Govt to give solutions is passing the buck.

I say if there needs to be a plebiscite, let there be one with a question that do these elected representatives actually represent the voices and aspirations of Kashmiri people? If not then who are their real representatives, solution to Kashmir will automatically start evolving. Are these leaders of Kashmir capable enough to lead their people? The picture will start getting clearer. If war is not a solution and talks are the only solution then let us talk internally first. Today we are falling in our own trap, where the political parties of J&K especially of K, the separatists and the terrorists are taking advantage of our lack of clarity amongst us as to what to do, with whom, when and why.

Be that as it may, let Mehboobaji keep her flag and article 356 for the time being. Can she give out a road map to solutions to the Kashmir problem? Let her speak to the “stake holders” in our Kashmir, what they want and discuss with the PM that this is how it needs to be implemented. Let her, Omar and Farookh sit across the table with all those who believe in India as their nation and tell how are they going to seal the borders? How is she going to stop terror funding? How is she going to convince the Hurriat to forget Azadi and come under the tricolour? Let her give a method to convince and control the stone pelters. Let her government take over the internal situation of Kashmir and show she can govern and protect everyone fairly and effectively, rather than only giving the consequences of removal of the articles.

Yes the Central government should continue all its support like hither to fore. Let Mehboobaji give a manner she proposes for employment generation other than Sarkari naukris. Let her reveal plans as to how she will develop tourism, fisheries, agriculture, power, infrastructure, industry etc and set a time frame to address these issues to wean away unemployed youth from nonsense. Simply by sucking Central Govt of funds and resources and leaving Kashmir to be governed by God doesn’t work out. She has the mandate, she has to do it. She needs to create history. She has to have her intelligence grid going and sorting out those who throw stones or fire weapons or support such things, after all the J&K flag flutters today because the Tiranga flutters there, is there a doubt?

Let her come up with a method of utilising her state forces. CAPFs and Indian Armed forces deployed for the protection of the state may be utilised if she needs them. I feel we need to take a big chance if we agree to withdraw all central forces. Let Mr Rajnath and her sit down and plan with the civilian “Mehakma” how to police and keep every citizen safe from harm’s way. I would rather say it would be an ideal opportunity for the armed forces to take a breather. I know my military expert friends shall shoot me down that this will give the militants a breather to regroup and rejuvenate. So be it friends. Imagine by then all terror funding would have stopped. All people with separatist tendencies put in the clink, all hawala money choked, traced out and seized if possible. Infiltration as good as zero as the armed forces would be able to beef up the borders, all those infiltrating through the third country would be scared enough to take a chance to reach Kashmir alive.

Won’t police operations by the sons of the soil stop stone pelters? Stone pelters may not do so to their own kith and kin. Locals if taken on board will reveal most of the caches or routes to them thus bringing a halt to availability of arms and ammunition. Even if many of them take up arms, good for us. Now the forces can take them on without hesitation with definite information available. Moment militants engage security forces they will ensure they are dead meat. The residual militants thus get wiped out. Let it be deterrence for future militants. Let us give them a lose rope to hang themselves. Pakistan by then should be warned to be prepared for some roughing up with every breach and every cease fire violation. You do mischief, we would slap you hard, needs to be conveyed loud and clear.

All this needs meticulous planning, guts and decisions which can be game changers. The key issue remains getting Mehboobaji and gang to get on the job. Today, I find the home minister running up and down, political leaders visiting without reason, Army Chief meeting her for courtesy sake? Let us stop it. Today, there is a government, there is state machinery, there are the people who want peace but there is no strong will and clear intention to sort out this mess. Each day of delay is costing money, resources and precious lives. They are Indian lives, our people. Because getting martyred has become routine doesn’t mean that this should be allowed to continue. If every life counts, out of box solutions have to be found by Mehboobaji first and now.

I heard General Musharaff on a channel who clearly stated that Pak will do Kargil like operations again. He also stated that they call those people mujahedeen whom we call terrorists and this India and US need to understand, they won’t. He also was emphatic about CPEC which is already in advanced stages of construction. If it hurts India, Pak will do it. Let’s be clear then whom are we dealing with. All this people to people contact, aman ki asha chaps wake up. Indian Biryani is far better.

We need to sort out our internal Kashmir thing first and fast. We need the present J&K government on its toes besides being careful of Pak at all times. We have the wherewithal to make it happen. Mehboobaji aur Modiji, Abhi nahi to Kabhi nahi, will you please take note of it, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

THE “WHY” OF J&K

It was nice to hear that a few of the HURRIATIERS have been arrested and put in the clink. How far all the separatists are united is not known but this move is surely going to bring those birds of the same feather together. Mehbooba ji has not commented till now and let me assure you Madam that at this rate of arrests people that you were insisting on to talk to or the stake holders, you will find their numbers dwindling and reducing. Time may not be far when you too may not be invited to any talks yourself as I find representatives of people of J&K not involving themselves with their people the way they should. Hope my perception is wrong.

I have a question for all the political leaders of Kashmir that why can’t you convey the will of your people and work out solutions for them. If you are doing so why is J&K burning? Are actual issues being discussed in the state assembly or are you all there to wrestle with people like Engineer. Are you and your people on the same grid? Rather, are you politicians with us that is India in the first place? Once that is established rest will fall into place. If you are not with India then what are you doing as an elected representative is the next question? Don’t give us long stories of disputed territories and points of view, either you’re with India, if not you should be considered to be with Pakistan. There is no question of any kind of freedom or independence. If this frame work is clear, then there would be some point to discuss. If not then you know where the LoC is cross over and start a movement from there. Take all your supporters and sympathisers along, after all there you will also get support of all kinds from your “napaak” friends. Here you may not get a chance to talk as openly.

The other question which keeps bothering me is that who is actually looking after Jammu & Ladakh? As I perceive it, when the darbar is in Srinagar, everyone is working for Kashmir, when it comes down to Jammu; some attention is given to Jammu. Kashmir still remains the main focus. Where does poor Ladakh go? The centre is only helping out Kashmir. Jammu and Ladakh get the left overs. Why do I sitting far away from the state get this feeling? It is because of no media coverage of Ladakh or is it what I hear and read becomes my perception. Am I conjecturing too much?

Be that as it may, Pakistan is going to keep injuring us is nothing new I am stating. When are we going to start lacerating it is what I want to know? The whole issue with Pak is about Kashmir and the people who suffer the pain of Paki inflicted injuries are the people of Jammu and the armed forces. For Kashmiri’s it is death for their cause I suppose. Why? Till the time we don’t give a clear signal that you scratch me and I will tear you apart we will continue to suffer. Gangrene has to be induced in Pakistan so that a portion of it is amputated. The viruses it keeps sending this side leaves us nursing and licking our wounds leaving Pak unscathed. This needs a paradigm shift is thinking at the PMs level. Sooner the better!

All those people who show dissent towards India should be put in the clink and investigated. All his links and lineage should be exposed. All politicians having any connection with the militants/separatists should be dismissed from public service. Why I say this is because with the passage of time the clot in the artery which could have been dissolved initially has already seen a bypass. The clots have appeared again and may need a change of heart. One thing is clear that if Kashmir is our heart, then it already has suffered many heart attacks. The centre is pumping all it can to keep the LUB-DUB going. If now all the blockages in terms of Hurriat etc and not removed and the inoperative valves in terms of the J&K government are not made functional or replaced and the tensions which Pakistan generates leading to this heart condition if not eliminated, then chances of survival are bleak.

For the Armed Forces J&K is as good as a domicile state. All of us in uniform have had at least two to three tense tenures in the state. Not a single day used to be without some action somewhere. If we add our tenures of Ladakh including Kargil and the Glacier, people would have stayed half their lives in service of J&K in whatever capacity. If I reflect on what I did in Kashmir in particular, was only winning hearts and minds but still lived in fear that there would be an IED on my route, I could be fired upon from any direction, people would turn hostile towards me etc. I kept feeding and treating ailments of villagers. I kept labouring to make playfields and schools and the end result is that we still have gotten nowhere. All of us did our best, all of us went to each village, met each headman, maulvi, teacher, infirm, old, ex militant, you name it. All of us loved those small children who came to us. Has it really done any good, or is it that the Kashmiri people just took advantage of all of us?

The simple Kashmiri people are now no more simple people now I think. I know, they all need jobs, money, a decent living, education, growth in agriculture etc, but none of it is happening. The “why” of it is still a mystery? Can someone find answers to this why? I wonder!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

THE ANSWER MY FRIEND IS BLOWING IN THE WIND

Time is fast approaching when we as a nation have to get out of the mentality of I, me myself. The country is burning on issues which should be non issues. We have a PM who is running around the world to fill in the voids of the years of neglect by approaching them with an open heart and open mind. Here we are in our own country trying to create a situation which perfectly matches to prove that we have a blocked and narrow mind. Today, face book posts can be the cause of death of people. I think if this is how we as a society are then half the country should be dead. Lynching has become a norm it seems. Conjectures have become the basis of taking out personal animosities. I can understand the changes which have come in due to the technological advancements but reaching to such a low is rather painful and condemnable. We shall be looked down upon by the world but do we care. The jumla “SANU KEY” or who cares stands good.

We are a fragmented society and fragmented like hell. Let’s not blame the Brits; they divided us to suit their requirement. We never united thereafter to suit ours. Don’t blame them for separating India-Pakistan, we are ourselves to blame. Everyone wanted to take advantage of the situation which existed at that moment and the result is what we are today. United we stand divided we fall, is an age old adage and it could not be more true the way things are happening in this country. It will take many PMs and his likes to get us as one nation together. If only we Indians want to get united.

It all started with the princely states who did not want to give up their kingdoms. Patel did the dirty work and got them under one flag. Pakistan poked its nose along with China during partition; those fires are still simmering, in fact burning at places. Division of states of Punjab & Haryana started another kind of rift. Gujarat was carved out of Maharashtra. Goa was still under Portuguese rule; northeast was never satisfied with its division, East and West Bengal are not happy even after formation of Bangladesh. J&K went on the boil and is still smouldering. Punjab had its ups and downs. Now Gorkhaland resurfaces. The Naxals are not happy; thank God the Anand Margi’s have vanished. Tamil Nadu doesn’t see eye to eye with both Kerala and Karnataka. Basically, states are divided too.  Beyond this the reservations for every community, the majority and minority, my goodness Lord from where shall I begin and where will it end.

I haven’t added the Hindu Muslim Sikh Isaai angle as yet. The tarka of gau-rakshaks, anti beef vigilante and their ilk have also to be sub-factored. By the way there is another division which is clearly visible like in the railways and airlines. They still have First class and second class of kinds, thank God there is no more third class remaining though there is III AC. Airlines have business and economy. The caste systems are inherent in our society and let’s accept it that it still prevails. Then there are these politicians who have only done nothing but appeasement politics and politics for corruption. They have definitely been adding fuel to the fire. My country burns thus I am in a tizzy now helpless and waiting for a miracle to bail us out it seems.

We have one bowl of grain and 1000 mouths to feed and increasing by the minute. Can we just feed our favourites? Should we feed the hungry? Should we feed the needy? Should we feed the greedy? Should we set a feeding procedure? Should we fix a feeding quota? How do we go about it? Should we reduce the mouths to feed? Should we bring another bowl of grain? Should we start growing our own grain? Should we subdivide our bowl to feed selective people? Unfortunately the bowl has also developed a leak. So should we plug the leak or loot the spill? Should we get smaller bowls to feed? All these questions are relevant. The issue here is that some of the grains in the bowl have also gone sour and bitter. The grains are not fit for consumption. The mixture in the bowl has become adulterated as trying to feed so many mouths has led to diluting of its contents. Some people have an insatiable appetite and keep asking for more. Some people are the goonda elements who forcefully snatch the grains and in the spat spill it on the floor and don’t bother till their bellies are full. So what do we do?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, as Bob Dylan sang. We know everything but pretend that we don’t know the problem. We know the solutions but don’t want to approach them head on. We know the culprits but fear to hand them over to our officials. We ourselves break rules, circumvent and bypass them and expect the other person to follow them in letter and spirit. All regulations are meant for the other Indian, I shall follow my convenience. A hand full of people who misguide and misgovern all this  adds up to a chaotic, disarrayed, disorderly, undisciplined, unruly, rowdy, unmanageable, disruptive and typical Indian society. All this is smudged and flavoured by the religious concoction as well.

We want our streets clean but will throw garbage out of the window kinds of people we are. We will break traffic rules but won’t like to get caught, if caught try and wriggle out somehow, if not possible then fight with the law makers, if that doesn’t work try and bribe our way out, use our push and pull and finally when that too doesn’t work out then accept our punishment. Crazy people we are! We only understand the rule of danda.  We will even go all out to bribe our Gods; we will request him for favours for the prayers and money offered.  It is true and let’s face it, exceptions might be there.

I am convinced that unless we as a society evolve, understand and accept our individual roles from a CEO to a Rag picker, from a Sepoy to a General, from a black smith to an industrialist everyone has a place in society and an important role to play. Let us respect each other, let us respect each other’s sentiments and values, let us focus on the progress of the nation, let us contribute one small thing in a day which is positive for the society or the nation in any which way we can and then only can we as a country stand as a big power. Our government and the PM is setting up a deck of cards in a pyramid, with every gust of wind the deck crumples and has to be stacked again, let us join hands to block the winds of jealousy, hatred and intimidation. Let us love human kind, let’s assist in nation building. I then only see India progressing. Are the answers blowing in the wind? I wonder!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

KASHMIR ISRAEL INDIA & GST

I know you all will ask me is there any relation in all what I say in the title. Let me put my one and half pennies worth. One of the states which is hammer and tongs against the GST is J&K. Reasons can be attributed to many a things. I saw engineer Rashid trying to knock down a colleague in the assembly on the issue day before. Again I shall not get into the right and wrong of it but one thing is sure that the way these Kashmiri’s are panicking with GST is to be noted. Pak is not only panicking but monitoring PMs visit to Israel very minutely. The so called separatist lot of Kashmir are frightened like hell too. My hunch says Mufti and her gang are also in total shock and panic mode as neither the situation in Kashmir, nor the terrorists, nor Pak, nor their own people, nor their own government is under anybody’s control. Well, GST has no comparison with the PMs Israel visit but let me say how I see those things from my perspective.

People might compare India with Israel as far as Kashmir and Palestine is concerned, the oppression of Palestinians and the killing of Kashmiri’s by security forces and atrocities they claim etc. The role of Pakistan can also be compared to the role of all other Arab states against Israel as far as Kashmir is concerned. America has played a major role in Israel and so has played its game in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Well, I am not going to make those comparisons either as so much of it has been covered in the media. I shall discuss something different.

Why is there so much of commotion and resistance to implement GST in Kashmir? Because, time now has come that the Kashmiri’s are now seeing that sooner or later there is going to be an amendment in the constitution of India which has to do with article 370 to begin with. Let the Kashmiri economy be self sustaining rather than sustaining on my tax money will be the next change and that may come through the GST. The amount of money in terms of cash and kind which has been pumped in to this state God alone knows. I wish the same would have been given to the BPL people of rest of India, we could have seen a difference in India in these 70 years. They are now anticipating that the cat is out of the bag, their bluff of being a victim and a special state, with special status is getting over. Time is running out for them the way they ran the state. Sooner the Indian constitution is amended; J&K will automatically have to make amends. I can see in the near future that the separate flag of J&K also going along with all special privileges. Even if the flag continues to flutter, it would now be in the background and not the way they have exploited every Government in Delhi.

The repercussions of this change would be many. This revolution or evolution may see a lot of bloodshed. They have no choice but to accept it, they like it or they don’t. They need to get their basic needs from rest of India for their day to day survival. They will not be able to requisition or buy them anymore till the time they become part of the larger Indian picture. This is also a warning to the Hurriat and all those who still have a dream of either Azadi or merging with Pakistan that friends your days are limited, either get into the Indian main stream or get lost from Indian soil. When in India do as the Indians do, you can go to Rome or Timbuktu to do what they do there but get this thing clear that no autonomy or no more independence to you to run the state affairs, as you people are no more capable of doing so. You want Kashmir on the boil just to fill your coiffeurs, it’s going to stop.

This much is sure that to sort out Pakistan we need to get our act together in India and specifically Kashmir. Military is doing its job and we need to not only strengthen the Int-Grid but hold their hands. Once this message is percolated to the last stone pelter things will fall into place. Enough of pussy footing till now, methods needs to change; strategy needs to change, thinking needs to change above all Kashmiri people have no choice but to change and change the way India thinks. Period!

Let me discuss the Israeli connection I mention. Jews still live there but take Syria or any other Arab nation, where have they gone? They have been cleansed slowly like the Kashmiri’s did to the pundits, sad state of affairs but now it is part of history. Time now has come for history to be re-written. Enough of bowing down, enough of Oh my God Kashmir is burning? Who is burning it? It is the Kashmiri people themselves. They have no love lost for their land or brethren or else they would not let militants take people hostage because of which security forces have to fire rockets thus burning down assets belonging to Kashmir. As you sow so shall you reap is now coming true, as the seeds of thorny bushes were planted. Time now has come uproot these useless thorny bushes and plant new trees which are beneficial for “India’s Kashmir”. Time now has come to revamp everything as per the threat perspective of India. We have been tolerating the way Kashmir’s have mis-handled things, it has not worked out. Time now is ripe to change the engine, some sick coaches, the guard, the driver and a few passengers may also be told to get off this train as they are not letting it run.

My only issue with my country is that look at Israel, they are so small but the technology they have developed over the years in terms of their military might, no one can beat them. Because they have the will, they keep Israel first, simple. We are such an enormous country, with tremendous resources of wealth and brains. Where are we lacking? The nightmares that we propose to give to Pakistan by buying all kinds of military hardware from Israel should also give jitters to the Kashmiri militants and their supporters that look folks we are now going to come for you silently. Seriously, I would rather feel happy if I use my own country’s bombs rather than be dependent on Israel’s armoury. Though, I am thankful to them that they have bailed us out in every confrontation with Pakistan. Had our country been manufacturing things as per our needs and requirements, how dare any Pak or China challenge us! Pakistan would have vacated all that they have forcefully occupied by now had we been politically strong and self sufficient militarily.

On that note I am optimistic that things in Kashmir are on the cusp of change and change it will be. It may be from implementation of GST, amendment of the constitution, Governor’s rule, throwing out the Hurriat and separatist kinds, dealing firmly with stone pelters and trouble makers. In addition let us give Pakistan a good beating every week till the time it doesn’t behave. India also now needs to make indigenously state of art arms and ammunition to send a message to the world, that friends this is a MAKE OF INDIA. MADE BY INDIANS, MADE FOR INDIA, so better watch out. When will this be possible? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

FAUJ KA RATION AUR MODIJI KA BHASHAN

Today the social media circuit of the fauji kind is full of “Ration pe Bhashan”. What all rations will discontinue in what all military stations is matter of grave concern I suppose. Most of the officers are worried about their bai’s running away, for obvious reasons. I can vouch for it that my free rations were the biggest spoiler of our maid’s figure. Well, rice we didn’t eat. Bread was given in lieu of atta. Oil was toooo refined. Butter was not good for health said the doc. Daal’s were too stony. Cheese, we kept begging the supply depots yaar pleeease give us a reason to say cheese. Ek Murgi ke saath do anda used to come free as so called chicken used to be a yucky “egg layer” and not “broiler”. Meat was always malnourished and injected with water. Bhindi used to reach us as bhindi dry. Potatoes could go straight to the pot as they were automatically peeled in transit. Gobi was mostly fired. Palak came to us as squashed soup and so on. This I am talking of a decade back of the condition of our wonderful rations. Today, my ASC friends might take offence to it but never mind.

The other issue which bothered me was that fresh rations were collected for a week, so rivers of milk used to flow as minimum seven packets had to be collected. One could now make paneer, kheer or curds choice was yours. In summers by the time the milk from the military farms (MF) reached us it was mostly curdled. The fat percentage used to be just above the threshold of the minimum required to call it milk, balance used to be SNF (solid not fat) a term I picked up as DQ, notwithstanding the water content. Our child refused to drink the MF milk as it used to taste “different” from the pure cow’s milk we could get from the civil.

I remember I was deployed in the outskirts of Srinagar valley and my post was a four hour walk from the road head. Imagine the plight of chickens as they would have travelled many kilometres to reach our admin base. By the time they used to reach my post most of them were dead. My Senior JCO suggested that Sir let us send a chicken detachment (det) to the base. I asked for what, he said sir; they will cut and clean them before they died. As I was a pure man eater kind found logic in his wisdom and sent a det from the company HQ who’s only job used to be cutting chicken, plucking chicken feathers and sending them up as dressed chicken. My boys used to hang 10 chickens each on a bamboo with their necks blobbing up and down as they travelled up to the post. What a sight!

Then we had an MOH category (Meat on Hoof). The sheep and goats of Rajasthan used to travel more than 500 miles away from home to reach the base. They used to go mad on setting hoof on terra-ferma. From deserts to my post they used to go berserk eating the green-green grass of the greenest pastures. All the starving they had done while travelling in military vehicles used to be made up by eating anything green including our dress. Notwithstanding that within a week they used to grow fat and were sent up through the half link patrol. My anxiousness used to keep increasing with every passing hour when this patrol used to get delayed. On reaching the post I used to find at least two boys almost fainting, reason used to be that they had to carry the damn sheep on their shoulders because they refused to walk in this altitude and mountainous conditions. Worst is that most of them caught a cold on arrival. While inspecting them one could see the long greenish squishy liquid oozing out of their noses. I used to call the nursing assistant and tell him to give a few “paracetamols’ each for one week and report back when their noses were nice and shiny having acclimatised with cold conditions and altitude. Then only they were ready to feast on. Meat and rum issue was ultimate.

In high altitude one got used to tinned rations. Given a choice the companies would tin anything that moved. We had tinned tuna, meat and chicken in all forms, all fruits including some I had never heard the names of, in sweet sticky syrup. Then there used to be lot of this dry stuff. Dry and dehydrated onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, even egg powder. With egg powder we used to make tons of bujia for the whole company in the mornings. Beans never used to cook even after two days in a pressure cooker. Milk powder was used as “choona” to mark the volley ball court or make gulab jamuns. Dry fruits, no one cared to eat as they gave a bad rumbling tummy. Of course, how can I forget Milk Maid, the best of thing we used to enjoy! Condensed milk was the only reason to fight with my wife when she had joined me at Lukung post (Pangongtso) many many moons back.

Well, the last ten years I never had a chance to crib for what I ate, as I ate what I bought. I do not know is it psychological to say that the army rations were not good. I remember my wife being a good baker and used to make excellent cakes out of the tray of eggs we used to keep getting off and on, as I had declared myself a vegetarian as far as the free fauji rations were concerned. The extra milk always came in handy for puddings which are now off my menu as sugar is catching up but give me tipsy, I shall break all rules and to hell with sugar.

So my dear fauji folks, you guys may have to survive on “Maggie” of the Ramdev kind in peace stations. The calculations of ration allowance with the taxes being cut at source due to the implementation of the GST would be good enough to get half a plate of Gol Guppas per week. The issue is when you get rations you crib, now that you won’t get rations there is more to crib about. This will help all of us to take care of the indigestion which is going to be a fall out of the free ration ban.

Modi ji ka lamba bhashan aur fauj ka tagra ration (Modiji’s long speech and army’s strong ration) have no meaning whatsoever, sab dikhava (all show biz). As the saying goes, atta bhi mehnga, chini bhi mehengi, mehanga har saman, fir bhi mera Bharat Mahan. Achhe din kab ayenge? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

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!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

JAANE KYA TUNE KAHI

I just happened to flick channels the other day and saw one Brigadier of the Pakistan Army whispering something in the ear of Mr Nawaz Sharif in the SCO meeting while the latter was delivering his speech. It reminded me of the hindi song “JAANE KYA TUNE KAHI, JANE KYA MAINE SUNI” (I don’t know what you said and I don’t know what I heard). I think it became a matter of conjecture for the media that what must he have whispered that the PM had to pull out his ear plug from the left ear and listen to the Brigadier from the right one. During the process, why did Nawaz Sharif raise his eye brows as if something big might have happened back home? Well, there could be many theories on the issue, so let me also speculate a few matters of National importance for the Military Secretary (MS) to whisper in the PMs ear in the middle of an address.

I kept scratching my head and am sharing a few, that sir your favourite bitch has littered, or your SUV has been stolen, or sir tuhadi MAJH suu gayi hai (your buffalo has given birth to a JHOTA or calf). Well, I think this is too much reading between the lines. Then I pondered that would this whisper be to say that Pakistan has launched 100 terrorists from POK. Well, that is a routine that Pakistan has adopted and is facing the music the way Indian Army has unleashed its intolerance to terrorism and cease-fire violations recently.

There are a few more shockers that the Brigadier could have given him. One was that sir WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan) has just intimated that electricity has come to the PMs Residence. The frown on Nawaz Sharif’s face clearly showed that kind of surprise that is it possible? Another thing which the Brigadier may have whispered in his ears that madam has just whatsapped that the water in the main Tanki has finished. The frown was justified because he had made the irrigation minister personally responsible to keep Madam Sharif well bathed in his absence. He later realised that madam was accompanying him then who the hell is this new “begum” sending messages from his bathroom to his MS.

I think matters would be more serious than this. Oh yes, it is our national problem too. Madam could have sent a message that today the Bai has not come. All heavens would have broken lose in Pakistan because PMs Bai is absent. The whole of MS branch must be busy posting one as replacement. Following this another bai would have messaged the Brigadier that what would the PM like to have for dinner, “Bharwan-Bhindi” or “vegetarian Biryani? I heard he is a vegetarian. For which the MS would have to interrupt the speech so that he could intimate her keeping the duration of flight and the time the Dum Biryani would require cooking. The worst news could be that now after the Panama leaks the Suez leaks have been revealed to the world in which some person called Nawaz Sharif is the main accused. Or was it that the PM is no more the PM as General Javed Bajwa has taken over because he too is fed up of power cuts and every time a presentation on Indian Army is given to him the bloody lights go off. Well it all boils down to, jane kya tune kahi?

One of the news readers pointed out that the MS came to tell the PM that transport to depart to the airport is ready. How ridiculous can ridiculous be? PM wants a Brigadier to keep him informed about his transport. What a luxury it is! Then I kept thinking what was his Military Secretary doing in a conference which has got to do with nothing military in the first place. A very powerful leader of a country with a mighty military called China did not have his personal body guards so to say and here Nawaz Sharif has a Brigadier doing his transport coordinator. I am impressed.

On a serious note, I was also thinking that the urgency to inform the PM right in the middle was to tell him in those 19 seconds that Sir Cdr Kulbhushan Yadav has escaped from our custody and is in Indian hands. Our game is up; transport is waiting outside, let us run moment you finish before the Indian PM tears us apart.  You may like to make a statement against India now and then let us scoot. Well, my conjecturing and guessing can have no end nor will the news debates stop discussing it. This mystery can only be solved by the two people involved and no one else. I shall wait for the confessions in a book.

I think I should leave it there as it cannot be a Brigadier coordinating transport for the PM at an international meeting in any case. Let them play the game of “Chinese whispers” the Pakistani khus-phus way? I can understand that these Pakis can only speak in whispers when Indian PM is present, so why are we interested in their whispering affairs, I wonder!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

I LOVE DR ROY BUT NOT THE MEDIA

 

I still remember the good old Doordarshan days when the same bearded man used to present “The World This Week”. It used to be a treat to listen to him. As time went by we used to wait for a cassette of “NEWS TRACK”, which used to come free with the yearly subscription of India Today. Besides the news coverage it was more to watch Madhu Trehan. Madam please take it as a compliment. The shape of news, views and discussions changed over the years. One can call it an evolution of the fourth estate. From gagging of the media during emergency and what it is today, it is a total transformation. We now have big fights, we kick each other left, right and center, and we also have to bear with the noise hour. There was one guy who used to be the devil’s advocate too. Mirch, masala, fresh tadka is the only way for any news channel to survive. I have had my share of love and hate kind of relationship with the way media is doing its job. I stopped watching WWF fights on news debates long back as the whole time it appeared fake, cooked up and playing to the galleries. What I want to highlight today is how a media house can be so pious and holy that they are feeling bad when they have been raided by the IT department.

“We the people” today are very much aware how the media houses function. “Sold” is a mild word is the general perception. However neutral they may claim to be, however outspoken they may assert to be, however frank and honest they may say they are, however candid and blunt their opinions may be, however fearless and daring news feeds they might deliver, however loudly they may outshout the co-panelists’, however they may claim to get the highest TRP ratings and eye balls from figures plucked out of thin air, however smart and good looking newsreaders and debate conductors might be. I am convinced as a common man that every channel has an agenda; every channel wants to claim they broke the news first. Thank God they are not deployed along the security forces otherwise they may stake claims that they are the first ones to shoot the enemy and the terrorists.

Here starts my bone of contention, Dr Roy not with you but with the media as such. It is the way media people have degraded the armed forces by airing whatever media thought is right. Earlier I never used to see any retired defence personnel on TV but then a new trend in journalism started. Many retired officers joined the ranks of media houses and used their links and pinks to get as much information they could for news to sell. There came a time when the newsreaders were in bunkers when the Kargil war happened. People were covering ground zero in Afghanistan. Ex Indian Army officers were invited to the glaciers, aircraft carriers, submarines etc. With this exposure and intimacy to the forces grew and matured. Then some channels in the garb of freedom of speech started tarnishing the armed forces in public. Here I started to veer off the news and the anchors conducting such shows.

Well, if you can put the armed forces to scrutiny from the chopper scam, to intelligence failures, to tactical mistakes, to human rights violations, to ketchup Colonels, to booze Brigadiers, to date of births issues, to equipment and procurement scams, to watery dal, to encounter killings, to eliminating the Burhan wani kinds, to tying a stone pelter to the jeep, basically after getting a foothold into the military environment and to try and sneak into all matters military which the media have no business to open their mouth about. This has resulted in so much of morale shattering air time that words cannot describe. So why there is an issue when media is being scrutinised under the tax mans lens.

NDTV has put out the news that it is political vendetta because a BJP spokesperson was shooed out of one show. Well, so be it. People like Brakha Dutt when she was with NDTV went to cover the poor school teachers kid called burhan wani and the plight of his family and various other people affected by pellets and bullets. She made her career covering Kargil war sitting with Capt Vikram Batra saying “ye dil mange more” to shoot to fame. Well, it now pains me to see the way news anchors have torn apart our army and Army Chief when he said what he had to say about the militants, stone pelters and their supporters. I think the media has grown too big for its boots and such raids serve them right. Media needs to be put into place, let it be Dr Roy or any media head for that matter. Who is a congress supporter or a BJP supporter is not the issue either? The issue is who maligns and tarnishes the image of the armed forces. Yes media may claim that they have done many welfare programmes for the armed forces. Well let me tell you it is no big shake to get Priyanka, Priety or Anushka to the operational areas. They are kids of the forces and they will oblige anytime to boost the morale of the forces, maybe at their own cost unlike your sponsors.

I had been following the news channels which used to bring the Pakis for debates in the prime time. Initially I enjoyed when many of our panelists’ gave them a good amount of bashing but soon those guys got the hang of it and gave it back. They had the audacity to call my country and its Prime Minster names, thanks to the media. We were abused and threatened by those pipsqueaks, which was again not palatable to me. All this was done in the garb of a balanced debating. The amount of disservice that can be done to this nation and the way they abused our decorated veterans was pathetic the least I can say. Enough is enough.

Well, I am not in favour of such a free press where any news anchor can speak poorly about the armed forces or admonish a member of parliament or a politician live on air. These MPs sit there and can do nothing about it as they cannot take “pangas” with the media. Well, Media people, you may show your arrogance, misbehaviour, manner less attitude etc to the politicians but kindly leave the people in uniform and veterans alone. We toil for you so that you can air your programmes, remember that. Media doesn’t save the nations integrity; it is the man on the border who does. You may fire your bites on air but the person who faces the enemy’s bullets with petty perks and privileges’ remains in the background and anonymity. He is asking for his well deserved one rank one pension which you people have just not given any coverage because it didn’t matter to the media. How sad! I suggest the government should raid all the media houses today and tell them to take a swallow of the same bitter pill they have been dishing out to the forces. Will the media act responsibly in future? I wonder!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

A FEW DANDAs THEORY

 

A couple of day’s back I received a message from one of my groups to stop subscribing to the Hindustan Times from the first of next month. Reason was that the paper questioned the Army Chief commending Major Gogoi. Well, if one felt so strongly then why didn’t they stop subscribing from the same day. The same thing happened when TOI carried a news feature questioning the Army a few years back. The paper’s circulation may not have taken a dip except from a few of the uniformed community. There was another instance when the Indian Express carried a feature where they declared that Gen VK Singh almost did a coup by moving a few Mechanised columns from Hissar and a Company of paratroopers towards Delhi. The same sentiment echoed within the services community. Did the appeals have any effect, God only knows?

Well, as far as I am concerned I am off the news papers. Not worth wasting my time as I have better things to do. Thanks to the paperwala who now has shifted his business to selling vada-pav and Kanda-Bhajia, as he also realised the futility of feeding garbage to so many people. For a few days I had difficulty in doing potty but now I am relieved from one more addiction after I quit cigarettes and liquor ages ago. I have quit newspapers too. My bai has been complaining though that there is no raddi in the house. Well, I promised her I shall buy her enough “raddi” from the market as and when she misses the ritual to sell.

Be that as it may, I am now getting a feeling that I must quit viewing news channels too as I observe that in the garb of freedom of press and speech they are taking the nation for a ride. One Major Gogoi has given them so much fodder that they can generate debates on the jeep incident till cows come home. Even the Auto show programmes have now started telling us that they will henceforth provide seat belts on the bumpers of the jeeps for all stone pelters in future models. They are promising ergonomically designed bumpers for their comfort with provision of water and airbags in select models, just in case the jeep meets with an accident. They are also looking into the comfort level of this person as he or she may have to sit there from five to eight hours continuously. The auto companies now are in competition to have warning boards placed on bonnets with press fit alphabets in English and Kashmiri. However, they have yet to find a solution if that man has to go for a natures call while in that position. The textile designing firm making “firans” have been contacted to provide adequate holes at the correct place for the same.

Yaar you press walas please understand that rape, murder, beef, moral policing, adultery, corruption, mis-governance, pilferage, politics, cow-vigilante, politicians, yoga, bureaucracy, porn, internet fraud, railways, liquor, transport, poverty, roads, youth, shipping, coal, drugs, industries, education system, etc are some of the subjects that should get you better TRP ratings. Leave the army alone please. They are the last bastion for this nation and in Major Gogoi’s case; he was called in as a last option as no other means were left. He did what he did and if need be will again do what he is supposed to do. It was an SOS call, when everyone else failed to respond. To all the peaceniks please question the politicians for the mess they have created. Army is a means not the end. Politicians are the ones who made the ‘Raita to failo” and now you want the army to clean it with a broom, which doesn’t have a “Danda”. My foot! If all these peace lovers can go to Kashmir without Army protection and speak to them and convey to the Indian government a definite solution for Kashmir like they suggest on news debates so vociferously and boisterously. I will give them all a Bharat Ratna straight away.

In my humble view, a solution is possible if we have a few “dandas” given. The first one is to the Pakistan. Shove it so hard that they do not henceforth allow their soil to be used for any terror related activity against India ever. The way they support the Kashmiri struggle, by training, funding and supporting these vermin should never occur in their minds for generations to come.

Second danda needs to be given to the politicians of both J&K and GOI. The most troubled areas are in Mehbooba’s constituency, she knows every detail and I have a gut feeling she is covertly supporting all those who want freedom from India like she used to do earlier. Her silence on all issues in and around her constituency is ample proof for that. If that be so, let there be Riasat-e-Kashmir, Riasat-e-Jammu & Riasat-e-Ladakh for actual Kashmir management. Time now has come for a Danda to be given to all those who bicker and create trouble or think of pelting a stone. Danda to the Hurriyat with immediate effect; either put in jail or deported to the country of their choice. Stop making a hole in the plate in which you are eating from. All funding stopped, period. Danda needs to be given to the GOI too. With such a mandate if not now then when and who will scrap article 370, bring them under one flag, one constitution and all judgments of courts be made acceptable there. It is now or never.

Another danda to the media to stop lowering the morale of this one apolitical institution called the Indian Army. I know they have military experts with contrary views but give the forces a break. The sentence “with due apologies” is now well understood. Stop apologizing and stop questioning the uniformed people. You run news channels because we protect this nation and give you the freedom to air your views. So limit your views to the suggestions I gave, leave us to do our job. We know how to do it and we do it to the best of our abilities; fearless and dauntless even after hearing such negativity the news channels spread. You can be rest assured, we shall not be intimidated by the press or the peaceniks. Army is not meant to carry weapons for show. The Army fires and fires for effect should be clear. You want one chap tied on a jeep to save hundreds of dead, or you want people dead. Choice is yours. The protesters can keep protesting, next time they throw one stone, one bullet should be fired at them. One news channel creates a negative hype; the second round should be towards them. Enough of this bloody nonsense!

From the two nation theory, let us have a few danda theory implemented in J&K straight away. If it is we the people who have to decide, then so be it. If we are going to let Pakistan meddle and fiddle with our peace, choice is again ours, if the government wants to wait for a miracle to resolve this issue then let us wait for me to become the PM. Will it be OK, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

SOME MEMORIES OF MY VALLEY TENURE

 I reached Sri Nagar transit camp anxious as anxious could be, in March 1997. I had been posted to Assam Rifles deployed in the valley, in Dr Abdullah’s constituency. I had no clue what was in store for me. I reached the battalion HQs in the afternoon, went to the COs office for the initial introduction and before I could say Major Noel Ellis I heard two deafening blasts which rattled all windows. CO said “welcome to the valley”. I heard footsteps, thuds, orders being passed, rifles being cocked and all sorts of shouting and this old man sitting coolly talking to me. My hands full of sweat, my heart beating like a train on the tracks; my worst fear was that I did not even have a weapon. He finished his short talk and told me to meet the adjutant. I saluted and zig-zagged my way out of his sand bag filled office cum living bunker.

A jawan handed me an AK-47 as I exited and told me sir first left is the Adjutant. Adjutant Saab being the company commander has gone with the QRT, till then familiarise with the weapon, he said. I looked at my AK; it was Rambo style with a double magazine. I quickly acquainted myself with it and felt confident and safe. I wanted to count the bullets as a ritual but what the heck I said. Adjutant, on return said hello sir welcome to the “Naga Hills” Battalion. In another hour you shall be leaving for your company and in the same breath told one guy to get some garam chai. You will be attached to F Company. I said under my breath WT ‘F’. He called up the CO on radio, “Alpha 3 for tiger, two RPG round attack by militants in apple orchard, QRT dispatched, retaliatory fire carried out, all safe and OK, suspected militants ran away, DELTA and BRAVO Company gone for Shikar, over”. CO replied “Roger out”. I was speechless in fact quite dumbfounded as to what was happening.

Adjutant said, chalo sir, chai thandi ho gayi hai (the tea has gone cold). I didn’t have a heart to tell him my hands and feet have gone cold too. At 4.30pm in the month of March I was sweating like a pig. He says sir, fiqr not (don’t worry) this is routine, come lets go to the telephone exchange if you want to speak to Mam on STD. There were no other means except letters to communicate at that time. In case you can’t speak now plan a patrol to battalion HQ one of these days, he said.

This was my reception in Kashmir. I reached my Company. My senior JCO, a Ghurkha of the purest kind told me “Hajoor” (sir) you shall be my understudy for operations till you get the hang of it. He was getting ready for an area domination patrol, I joined them straight away. I wandered the country side like a ghost who walks. We walked quietly into the night, we halted to do our listening drills, cursed the barking dogs, observed for anything unusual. We also did speculative firing at fleeting shadows.  First night of my bedding in the valley was fun; I fired a few bursts and now was fully battle hardened “convert” from Mechanised Infantry to pure Infantry.

Within days we were moved out of Srinagar. My post was in a village 8 km off the road to Leh. I came across this man named “Lassa” (name changed). The post used to be midway between his village and the main road. He invariably used take a break while returning home in the evening with his heavy sack of vegetables. He used to sit at the IN gate, stretch his legs, take a swig of water from the stream and then move on. We used to keep an eye on him. One day Lassa broke his silence and spoke to me and there after we developed a bond and he never passed by without a friendly chat. His son in law used to accompany him sometimes. The son in law and daughter were running a tailor’s shop in his village. His wife looked after the vegetable shop, “Guchhi” (mushroom) collection, poultry and a dairy. He ran a tea and vegetable shop at the hydel project. They all were a very hard working and enterprising family.

One fine day his son in law was picked up as a suspected militant and my company was sent for a search mission to his house. Lassa’s daughter was in labour about to deliver a child. Here I was breaking his walls searching for weapons. The shrill shrieks of the ladies clearly conveyed that we had been sent up a wrong gum tree. Some ladies expressed a desire to meet me. I granted permission. I knew no Kashmiri; they didn’t know anything but Kashmiri, we spoke in sign language. They pleaded if I could wait till the delivery. The girl was in trauma since her husband had been picked up. I ordered my boys to pause and just as a kind of blessing I said to the ladies, don’t worry everything will be fine, this girl will be blessed with a baby boy.

We all heard the first shrill cry of a baby which broke the silence of the night. Two ladies came running carrying a bowl of jaggery. Saab your tongue speaks the truth; you will live a thousand years and blessed me. Lo and behold a boy was born. I looked up to the sky and thanked the Lord. I spoke to Battalion HQ that we had picked up a wrong man. HQ radioed back that they were releasing the son in law. I announced that and the men folk came and surrounded me. They lifted me on their shoulders and danced. My AK cocked; with me bouncing on their shoulders was unheard of. My jawans bewildered as I gestured to them to let me go with the flow. The headman spoke, sir he has been made a victim of Gujaar-Kashmiri political rivalry. It was something strange and shocking to me. Next day Lassa brought his son in law to my post and hugged me and said sir you are my saviour. I hope someday I get to see his grand child and give Lassa a “jadoo ki japhie”.

Life in the valley is tough for the security forces and Kashmiri’s alike. Politicians are responsible for this mess is absolutely clear? Army definitely has a role, CAPFs & police too have a role but Kashimiri’s have a major role if they want peace. Will the politicians at the center and J&K in particular ever play their role? I did my bit, will they ever do theirs, I wonder!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

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