Noel Ellis's Official Blog

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

Category: PAKISTAN (Page 1 of 3)

PM SHOOTING RAVAN

It was very funny to watch Modiji shooting an arrow from the hip on dussera. I am more accustomed to him shooting volleys from the lip. Imagine, Modiji in a trench along the LoC, Pakistan (Ravan) attacking and PM desperately trying to fire his gun. Twice it misfires and the third time Modiji picks up loose bullets and throws them at the enemy. Like all good stories end, the enemy would have suffered heavy casualties and retreated, for all is well that ends well.

It reminds me of my WT (weapon training) lessons while learning our basics of 7.62mm SLR.  It was called “Rokon ko dur karna” (removing the faults). Any mechanical thing can fail, so the “ustad” used to howl,” rifle theek fire karta rukta”, (rifle stops while firing), you just had to cock it and press the trigger, 98 times out of 100 the damn thing used to fire. Then he used to say “fire nahin” (no fire), you were then supposed to check the magazine, you could have an empty magazine, reload, cock the weapon and fire. There was one very funny command called “ Ek do round ke baad rukta” (stopping after one or two rounds) and you like a monkey said “gas ki kami” and turned the gas regulator with a funny looking tool and continued firing. Then there was one command called “fir bhi fire nahi” (still your rifle doesn’t fire), then you had to check the ejected round and check the “Painda” (base) of the round and shout “Painde pe chot nahi” (no strike on the base) and then you stripped the weapon and changed the firing pin as you were taught to say “toota hua firing pin”. Good old days they were and we practiced like hell.

One used to dread in case of war or insurgency while engaging the enemy if you have a toota hua firing pin. Then you had only one choice to dauro, leto, rengo aar pakrao, firing pin change karo aur wapas fire karo. As luck would have it I only handled an AK-47 in J&K and Manipur, I never had to go through even one “rok” (stoppage) ever. Lucky me!

PM Sahib the reality is that there are many “roks” everywhere in our systems. There are “kaidas-kanoons” (rules and regulations) but no one knows how to get things done the proper way. It ultimately boils down to throwing the arrow rather than releasing it properly. This I say in terms of all the things like GST etc which are being implemented. Everyone has agreed that this (GST) needs to be fired but none of the so called experts know how will it work or how it is to be implemented. So rather than firing it “by the “seekha hua tareeka” (learnt way) as they call it in the fauj, they experiment with it. If it hits the target, well and good, if it doesn’t then they tweak the system (improvise). In the mean time our own forces (common man) suffer as they are not sure what to do in the interim.

Be that as it may, had such a SNAFU occurred in the army there would have been hell to pay? From the Table orderly to the Safai wala everyone would have been on a route march from Kashmir to Kanya Kumari and back. PMs Bow doesn’t shoot an arrow, Impossible! The person who made it would have tested it; the CHM would have tested it twice. From the Senior JCO, the Company Commander and the CO up the ladder everyone would have checked it. The Commander would have given a demo to the GOC on a FMR (Field Miniature Range) and finally the Corps Commander and the Army Commander would have been shown a live demo on the field firing ranges, where contingencies like this would have been catered for.  Even Chief’s ADC would have confirmed that all systems are working fine. A stand by arrow would have been fired and the Engineer regiment would have already catered for a demolition charge under the Ravan. How dare the arrow misfires?

Jokes apart, the reality is ladies and gentlemen, even if one has to fire dummy rounds it needs practice. So Modiji, there are big lessons for you. I know you have many things to fire for the good of this country thus lesson one, a rehearsal and a practice is definitely required. Lesson number two, get out of this notion that everything will fire perfectly because it is being fired by the PM. Things can go wrong at the last moment courtesy your advisors. Lesson three; you did not have a proper plan B in place otherwise you wouldn’t have to improvise by throwing the arrow. Lesson four, your civil Mehakma needs to pull up their socks. At such a level blunders like this are unacceptable. The PM is live on every channel shows India in poor light. Lesson six; please do not take everything and everyone for granted. Lesson seven, your confidence in tackling the situation was good but you cannot rely on instincts and take chances like this with a nation of 125 crore.

You as the top leader have to fire and fire for effect sir. Every word you fire, every policy and legislation has to be for the good of this nation. I the common man shall be observing the balance of this government’s tenure closely. We still give you the benefit of doubt. Our expectations are banking on your decisions and crack shooting Sir.  I know you are working overtime and very hard but when you fire let it be “ek goli ek dushman” (One bullet one enemy). What bullet you got to fire and who is the dushman I leave it to you to figure out. Have you understood my message? I wonder!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

MY NEW DEFENCE MINISTER

Wallah! At last India has a permanent Defence Minister after a long wait and amidst so much of speculations. Congratulations ma’am and welcome to a different world. Things are different here and things are done very differently in the Armed forces. I am not using the words defence on purpose because you will get a first hand feel of its enormity once you get on the chair proper. You will have the three services Chiefs at your command to give you the correct picture of things on ground and national security. They will also tell you how things are on paper. If you will have a heart to heart talk with them they will reveal to you how they are actually functioning with all that they have. Madam, trust them and listen to them. I wish you all the best.

Well let me not get into the 3Cs of criticizing, comparing and complaining mode from the very beginning. I am sure all your predecessors would have contributed their bit in nation building and with special reference to defence. You have got a fresh slate and a fresh charter. You also have come in here in the third year of the government so the ball must have been set rolling in any case by now. I am sure budget will not be a constraint even if you have to walk in into the FMs or the PMs Office or is this asking for too much on the second day in your office. So let me assume that you will take that liberty as and when the need arises but on the other hand I would request you to change the way the defence ministry works and that its rigid protocol. You will find it on every file, the seniority in which people will put their remarks on each noting sheet. Ma’am I want you to go to the three service Chief’s offices rather than them coming to you.

Imagine what commotion you will create in the corridors of South block if you walk up to the Army Chief’s office. Let me tell you ma’am the sandwiches served there are too good. They will be served with so much of love and affection that you may ask for more. Madam you will see people running to hide all maps with those huge curtains in the Military Operations room, later realising that you will be the one giving directions soon as to which part of the map to obliterate or pound and with what intensity. Suddenly, you may find pink napkins in the corridors of South Block. Madam jokes apart, you have yourself to feel the warmth that the men & women in olive greens, sky blue and white will shower on you. They are looking for a fresh face as they have had too many stain marks from spilled goan curry, Chai from Jaitley’s ketley and rancid coconut oil on their documents.

Madam Minister, another thing I request you to change is the perception of an iron wall between the MoD per se and the people from the services. If a gun has to be used by the Army man, an Aircraft by the fly boy or a submarine by a mariner then who should have the last word in its procurement. Please involve the user in every phase ma’am because to tell the difference between a smooth bore gun and a rifled gun your technocrats will give you but for a man to survive on the battlefield and hit the target in varied terrain and weather will only be revealed by the user, I hope you will agree. Please let there be a change where the well walks up to the thirsty rather than the other way around. If anyone in uniform does hanky-panky or misappropriation of money please skin him alive. He doesn’t deserve to be in uniform but if the same is done by someone in white collars, you may decide appropriate punishment.

The biggest thing I ask of you madam is the restoration of our IZZAT. I do not want to get into the naam, namak and nishan part of it. But our prestige, our honour, our self esteem needs a definite boost. Why do we in the forces get a feeling that we are children of a lesser God? Madam our ex-servicemen are sitting on Jantar mantar peacefully till date. They are old, many infirm and not in their best of health but are conveying their feelings to this nation that for what fault of theirs they still have to bear the heat, rain and cold after doing their time in hell. Madam do go and just say a hello to them. Probably your predecessors never had the time or inclination to meet the veterans and the veer naris.

One more thing ma’am, please do not change your ministry like my wife changes her dresses. By the time you get the hang of it your tenure will be over. Do a good job and help me to vote for you in 2019 again to see you at the helm of affairs in the same Ministry. You will see many Chiefs change during your tenure but the ethos and dastoor of the services won’t change. Let them hold their head high and give you all their support. Visit doklam next week end, I would say visit every theater of operation, ask the commanders there what are their typical issues and resolve them then and there. Issues could be operational or administrative like infrastructure, health care, accommodation, equipment, morale anything under the sun. Madam another thing I am skeptic of is the DRDO, reason I don’t know but the perception says there is something amiss. We still wait for our Main Battle Tank, a state of art rifle to say the least. We want Israel and Russia to use equipment made in India is what I ask you.

At the outset let me again welcome you to the uniformed part of it. The non-uniformed you have to take care of. I can’t say I wish you were Ex-NDA but madam I expect you to be one. You need to be a flier, a commando, a paratrooper, a deep sea diver, a tank man, a sailor, a Commander of men and women in all varied terrain and weather. Madam above all you will have to have a heart of gold which beats in sync and tune with the armed forces. I wish we sort out Pak in the next three years to start with. Good Luck and God Speed to you. Have I asked for too much? I wonder!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

CHANGE THE GOAL POST

Let us start with an assumption that we are going to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, nothing wrong, most of the countries are doing it. What if I say that the same nuclear technology will also be used for making bombs as a safety and security measure for my country? I sign all declarations and prove to the world that our intentions are very pious & holy but this needs to be done for the country, nothing wrong in it again. Well, time passes everything is fine and one fine day one bomb explodes and people die at a very large scale.  You then say that actually this bomb had an alternative use for a long lost dream of India called population control. You start justifying it by saying; see how many people we have reduced from this earth and from India in particular. How beneficial it is to the country, so many lesser mouths to feed, so much lesser burden on the economy and infrastructure so on and so forth. Everyone wonders if the minister justifying the explosion is in his senses or out of his wits.

What has happened here is that there has been a change of not only the goal post but change in the game itself. The venue changed, the rules and regulations were tweaked as per circumstances and in fact there was nothing original left as to why we started this whole nuclear exercise in the first place. We kept testing the waters and kept adjusting our aim and destinations as we went along as per our convenience. We used political jargon, some facts and figures, some percentages and some decimals to create an impression that what we are presenting to the public is correct and convincing. Poor public which is naive, illiterate and actually is not concerned because if the gareeb janata keeps getting his roti somehow, achhe din or no achhe din, he continues to believe in his political masters. They make, bend, change, tweak, modify and then justify the rules with sugar coated figures.

Well that was my aim to confuse myself so I started with the nuclear example and have still not revealed why am I writing all this. Well folks, I happened to hear our very dear Mr FM & DM briefing the media on the RBI report on the effects of re-monetisation I suppose. At the end of the day the whole exercise of demonetisation aka re-monetisation was done as the colour of the old notes was not matching the PM dresses. In the bargain if the tax payers base of the country increased by 17.971%, well what is wrong with it. The hundreds of tonnes of raddi collected in form of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes will be now handed over to the wall paper industry to change the colour of the walls of the North and South block. The black money which was supposed to come pouring in is still stuck in some foreign land and nothing in black could be retrieved. The cash less changed directions to less cash and the figure quoted was also in fractions of a percentage like 15.237%. Who knows how this figure has been calculated or arrived at and how accurate it is. At least I am not interested. The militants were supposed to be hit by demonetisation but they continued their demonization. Yes the only people who hit them were the armed forces and they shall continue to decimate them.

Added to this chaos of demonetisation came GST. What good it is to man or beast and what services it is taxing that no one is clear to be frank. Now we actually have a demonetised GST economy. The world economists are pondering over it as a special case study to find out how is it going to affect the coconut exports of Maldives as they are convinced that in India nothing has changed. Why I say this is because the trains keep derailing killing innocents travellers, children are again being massacred in hospitals. Babas and Baby’s keep ruling the roost. Bombay and Delhi cannot get over the deluge of rains. Pakistan continues its nefarious activities as usual. China is doing what it wants to do. I am where I was, except for my increasing weight I can find no change in me or my environment around.

It is not surprising at all because the FM handles the defence budget; he is also the DM. In the same breadth, he must be handling the home budget also so he should be the home minister too. I am not surprised that they have amalgamated the rail budget into the general budget but then where is the need to have a railways minister? If FM is going to handle all the money then why have so many ministers floating around. Here I find no logic as the people who are experts in their fields especially defence find themselves not even in the playing eleven of the game. They have been kept merely as extras. Which game they are going to play that the PM will decide? How long they will play that game before shifting to another sport that too is left to him? It is as simple as the cabinet reshuffle. From HRD to textile to another ministry in three years is like Mithali Raj shifting from cricket to badminton to boxing. Then we will expect her to win every game for India, while Sindhu and Mary Kom are told to play kabaddi and do sailing. What is the difference in sport a, b or c?

Well friends, this is not the first time the goal posts have been changed in this country. It was all started with good intentions like the surrendering of gas subsidy. Opening of the bank account was the next initiative. How far has it been really successful that Bhim, Paytm or such portals will tell? Kashmir boils with no goal post in site. Achhe din are just games people say but don’t play.  Will all these exercises bring some peace if not ache din with or without a changed goal post in the near future? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

 

JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED

I do not know the details of what Col Purohit did to deserve such a treatment that he had to be in the clink for 9 years and still the case has reached nowhere. Courts after courts, lawyers after lawyers, judges after judges have seen, read and understood the case for its correctness or otherwise and we are yet to decide whether this man is guilty or not. Leave alone the NIA who state they have clinching evidence and proof of this officer’s misadventure. Does it take nine long years to prove or frame an appropriate charge sheet? It was so painful to see his wife sitting continuously on news channels since the time it was announced he got bail. I somehow do not understand this kind of system that exists in this country. I can assure you that he would be a better lawyer by now than anyone else as he would have gone through every provision of the law books and just watch how things will take a turn.

I presume that he is innocent till proved guilty. If proved innocent then who the actual culprits are, this country will never know. The government then will have no choice but to get him back in uniform with all pay perks, privileges and promotions with interest accrued on his money with retrospective date. Then he will file a case for defamation against all those who put him in this soup. That case will continue for 15 years may be more, by that time many lawyers’ & judges would have kicked the bucket and a few news channels would have closed down. The government will change hands possibly. People will keep calling the NIA and CBI independent bodies and they shall remain as independent as a mother letting go her child in “Kumbh ka mela”. That’s the truth like it or leave it.

We have fed Pakistan enough fodder to taint us and paint us black and blue. Certain politicians have in their overenthusiastic exuberance blamed all and sundry. Ultimately this case which should have been an open and shut case got entangled in the political web which is now so thick that even the spider doesn’t know where to go. The spider can see the prey; it can feel its vibrations but cannot reach the spot because of the intricate procedures and courts it has to go through. The spider will become a victim itself one day, the prey will as it is die, wasted as neither it was food for the spider nor could it get away: the lizard below kept watching this whole episode, slowly losing its patience moves on looking for fresh prey. The jungle foliage would have changed many times; seasons would have changed with no result at all. The spider dead, the lizard dead and the jungle cleared away.

It is sad to see an Army Officer being humiliated like this for so long. I can say for myself that if ever such a thing is to happen to me I would prefer to be hanged rather than go through this torture of humiliation even if I am not guilty. The basic reason everyone is finding him guilty after putting in such a dedicated service to the nation with so many citations in his name would have broken him down completely. If he is guilty that means he doesn’t deserve to walk this earth anymore. Treat him as an enemy and give him the punishment the enemy deserves but don’t delay justice that nine years pass by and we are still not sure that what we should do with him.

Media laps up such news, they are hungry for any information which might get them a glimpse of anything that happens in the services circle. A Court of Inquiry is a restricted document and now is floating around in the media, never mind. Why is media taking reactions from the lady? I can understand what agony she and rest of her family must have gone through. The journalists think they are so smart that they can hide behind good English and make her react to generate a controversy somehow. One can see through the paraphrasing of the questions. One can understand the motive of each question. The initial pump up to tell her she has been brave and has suffered etc is just a tool to break the ice but hats off ma’am now you too have understood what media is looking for. Please remain calm and do not fall into their trap. They only have questions and they don’t care if they are right or wrong. They only want a hint and then they will plaster anyone and everyone on the mat.

Let me just say friends, anyone in the Army, irrespective of which ever outfit he belongs to, irrespective of him vibing or not vibing with his boss, irrespective of the most secret mission he is on, cannot bypass his boss. If Col Purohit was on a mission, his boss definitely knew it. His boss’s boss would have been told on need to know basis what was going on in his area of responsibility. This information would definitely have been shared with some sister organisations too, if not the highest office of the Military Intelligence would definitely be in the know of it.

All said and done if he is guilty he deserves to charged with treason and be done with and if he is not then a lot of people need to be charged with treason for maligning an Indian Army Officer and letting him rot in jail this long. No one can compensate each moment he spent in the clink. This life is great; one tends to forget the hardships when one gets back to the family. Will Col Purohit hit back and demand for restoration of his lost pride if proved innocent, I wonder!!!!!!!!!

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!!!!!!!!!!

 

INDIA NEEDS TO UNITE WITHOUT A WAR

If there will be a war with either China or Pakistan or both in the near future, are we as a country ready to cope with it? The Armed Forces will do their best I am sure. What I am sceptic about are the people who are other than armed forces including me. Are they going to do their bit for India? I know this country always unites during wars. My question is will we unite as “Indians” without and before a war? What cost will we have to pay for this unity is the big question? Can we put India first? The consequences of war will take us back by more than 50 years. How will we plough back, the very thought gives me the shivers.

Natural calamities I can understand, do take a toll. What I am afraid of is the manmade disasters like goondaism, dadagiri, corruption, bribery, fraud, dishonesty in thought and action, lynching, stalking, agitations for reservations, etc as prevalent today. Why do we destroy national assets in case we want reservations? Why do we burn our transport and buildings if we want water? I feel in case of war some people still won’t change from doing such misdeeds. It needs a miracle to change our basic character. People will still make money by hoarding, by hiding things, by manipulating, by creating an artificial shortage of certain essential goods and services. War clouds can never be wished away but trickery and deceit can definitely be avoided for the sake of this nation. Chances are that the war clouds may not rain. However, in today’s times we better be prepared for a cloud burst. Death may fall from the sky as bombs during war. Enemy can target anything, so citizens of India let’s brace ourselves up for it. Let us join hands for the nation’s sake.

Let us be prepared for rationing and curtailing of our freedoms including the press. Rationing of food grains, fuel, clothing, transport, medical care, freight, railways, air space, internet, mobile telephony and you name it. Doesn’t it look scary? Doesn’t it sound outlandish? How will we function without internet or a mobile? How will it feel when military special trains will be given priority over super fast trains? How will it feel to live with black outs? There is a difference between power cut and black out. You will have electricity but can’t switch on lights. People will still switch lights on until a bomb will find their building. How will it be to live in trenches? How will it be when suddenly you are unemployed as your industry is obliterated in an air attack? Air raid sirens blowing, you shall be rushing to shelters? From your luxurious, chauffeur driven, air conditioned BMWs, you will be sharing space with 10 others in a hot and humid bomb shelter. How will it be when all facilities that one takes for granted are suddenly withdrawn? You will be checked, frisked and questioned. Your daily routes diverted and movement restricted. It will be difficult to imagine and unacceptable to most.

Let me ask another question here, how many of the able bodied men and women would volunteer to join the forces if need be? I will request all those who send mails and messages to change ones DP to the tri-colour on Independence Day and Republic Day to be ready to join the war effort. Saying it on face book and twitter is easy, doing it on ground needs guts. Trolling on social media is easy but assaulting the enemy on the battlefield is a tough job. To stalk a girl in Chandigarh is easy but to stalk the real enemy is never done the “Barala” way. Desh Bhakti doesn’t come from the free flowing ideas in JNU but it comes from within our Indianess. It comes from our soul and not from our tongue. Singing Vandematram and shouting Jai Hind is desh prem. Having tears in your eyes when lata sings “ai mere watan ke logo” is your feelings for the soldier. Standing up for the National Anthem is our duty. Desh Bhakti actually is when one understands the meaning of each of these compositions and slogans and inculcates them in ones lives and that is the need of the time.

I am ready to offer my services again if the nation needs them. We the veterans will definitely do our bit. I request all the corporate honchos who do lots of number crunching, graphs, pie charts etc to understand that all that is fighting on paper. All that may impress your bosses. All that may get you incentives. All that may get you various awards. If you people are such experts, please volunteer to do social service during war. Promise to be a sentry of a society at night. Promise you will not do any fraud whatsoever ever. Promise that you will not lie and fudge figures. Promise that you will pay your taxes truthfully for this country. Promise you will report every happening correctly as seen and not as perceived. Promise you will not back bite and back stab your fellow workers. Honesty has to come from within; unity has to be understood in its totality. Time now is to build “Desh Shakti”.

Be that as it may. Over the year luxuries of life have become necessities and we take them for granted as our birth right. I am sure my countrymen shall unite moment the balloon goes up. We have to anticipate things and be prepared mentally. We need to forget caste, creed, religion, region, language and any form of reservations. Bombs and bullets cannot differentiate any of these. We need to keep the independence of this country intact by doing our bit, war or no war. Will we? I wonder!!!!!!!!!

WISHING ALL MY FELLOW CITIZENS A VERY HAPPY 71ST INDEPENDENCE DAY

JAI HIND

POLITICAL KABADDI

I had just finished watching the Kabaddi match last night, which is far better than watching the “kabaddi on news debates. My instinct told me that the match between “BJP Lotus Giants” and “Congress Handcrafters” being held in the polling stadium of Gujarat for the famous of Rajay Sabha Cup from where three members were going to be selected for the national team is going to be interesting. There were various reporters spread all over India taking reactions from spectators. Some of the anchors had already declared the results prematurely. There were political experts on every channel trying to give out all kinds of opinions like the good old Lala Amarnath. Tension was in the air. There were players who were surrounding the third umpire’s office as some controversy had erupted. The final results were to be declared after the third umpire “The Election Commission” would have reviewed each and every move replayed in “slowmo” from every angle. The situation was touch and go.

Well, my patience ran out and I went off to sleep. This morning I found that the unpredictable happened due to “Duckworth Achal Joti” method. The Lotus giants who were expecting a clean sweep lost one seat to the Handcrafters. What difference does it make in the Rajay Sabha? I don’t know. But after this round I know that congress has already declared a definite victory in Gujarat in 2019. We all know “there is many a slip between the cup and the lip”. Till the time the game is fair and square may the best team win; if my constitutional bodies aka referees abide by the rules, I shall have all praises for them because I know my country is in safe hands.

Be that as it may, come to speak of fairness, honesty, integrity etc my instinct to trust our political set up has gone totally wonky. I don’t know why. The congress had huddled together their MLCs in Bangalore and released them on voting day and still some cross voted it seems. The rumors that they can be bought at a price by the opposition were hot. How far they are true I can’t speak with authenticity. But there is no smoke without fire is also true. Does it mean that the value of this politician is just those few crore rupees? Is this what we have fallen to? His Zameer and conscious is for sale. If this is how I am going to earn a living then what am I going to do when I sit in parliament. Naturally, I will loot my country any which way I can. If money is the criterion to sell off my soul then this country has a very faint chance to dream of “acche din”.

The icing of the cake would be if one of the two people elected yesterday from the Lotus Giants is made the Defence Minister of India. One is already a minister so chances are that the present portfolio with that minister continues, I am worried about the other one. I will have no choice but to accept him as that’s the law of the land. So, all my brothers in uniform I wish you luck. PM Sahib, I still insist you have people qualified with more than 40 years of service in Defence of the nation, please be fair and do justice. Am I asking for too much? Let me not drift into my dreamland again.

I am still not clear as to why do we join a political party and have loyalties depending upon the price offered by another party. How can we switch at a moment’s notice? Why do political parties fear that their workers will change teams? Is there nothing called trust left in this nation? Do we need to use unfair means to woo people to defect? Should false promises and hopes still have place in our political system? The larger issue is, are we building this country or ruining it? If we are ourselves not sure on which side we are going to stand then when it will come to decision making for the poor and common man our decisions will be biased based on who offers us the best returns. We are corrupting this system at the highest level and then we are expecting the lower levels to be the most honest people. How can this be possible? My disillusionment for the political class keeps getting deeper. I am now convinced that money makes the mare go.

Thank God a few institutions are still upholding the Constitution of India. Otherwise this country if left to the people who know how to manipulate the system would have sold this country out by now. I was amazed to hear the hard work and toil the political workers were claiming to have done. The midnight oil that they burnt as if they were going to sort out Pakistan. They claim to have won a battle and appeared fatigued sitting in their offices and roaming the streets as aimless nomadic workers. The bursting of crackers and dancing on the streets was as if the enemy had been conquered. The rejoicing and celebrations continued through the night. Who paid for all that? Someone needs to take an account of that too. I see the waste of money in every electoral process irrespective of the political inclinations and affiliations.

Well folks, I am now looking forward to more Kabaddi of the political kind in 2019. Will I see team Lotus Giants lifting the “acche din cup”? I don’t know. Do the Handcrafters stand a chance to bounce back, I have my serious doubts, is there any other team capable enough, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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!!!!!!!!!!

BATTLE TANK VERSUS WATER TANK

As a kid I remember when Dad used to take us to an Army cantonment we used look at every piece of military equipment in awe. My kindergarten school had many army kids and they used to come in those old TMBs (Tata Mercedes Benz) or SHAKTIMAN trucks modified as school busses. We could spend hours sitting on our haunches imagining what all attachments it used to have, like the pick axe, the shovel, the jerry cans, mule tanks etc. Some trucks had winches on their front bumpers. The numbers painted on them used to be a mystery especially with an arrow pointing upwards. We at that time had gone through a phase of the war of 1971 with Pakistan so as boys our basic game used to be fantasising using all the military equipment we had seen in our lives to defeat of Pakistan.

I subtly remember while passing through Jalandhar Cantt there used to be these Pakistani Patton tanks at the entrance. I cannot describe how proud one used to feel just looking at them as Indian Army got these as war trophies. Even till today if I happen to pass by military equipment displayed in any town, I make it a point to have a look. I remember having clicked many photos on the tanks that used to be displayed in front of Sudan block in NDA. The feeling of elation and a sense of pride that crosses your mind moment you see a military convoy passing by is indescribable. One has seen many of them as a child, huge guns in tow, all covered with tarpaulins. Even one saw many military special trains passing by. One always waved to the faujis and wondered is war imminent. I used to long to be part of them, as I wanted to live that life on a train, with a tarpaulin tent made on a barrel of a gun, eating cooking and yet cheerfully waving to us going towards the border.

We used to have military equipment displays in school. One used to speechless when an NCO used to describe an Artillery gun or an Air Defence Gun or an APC (Armoured Personal Carrier) of the BTR-60 kind or SKOT. Heavens used to break loose when a KRAZ with a 130mm gun in tow used to come for a demo deployment. Though one could never understand the words of command but the whole process used to leave our jaws open. I clearly remember touching those practice rounds and getting bewildered at the size of the 130 mm shell. We even used to follow those tyre tread marks of the APCs. One could never imagine that APCs can fill air in them from inside. One used to think of one’s own bicycle, if this could be possible. The way the baffle plate used to go up and the propeller used to be exposed at the rear. To imagine that this huge beast could float was pure fiction. Though, I later joined an outfit which had both the BRDMs and BMPs as my bread and butter.

One really dreamt of joining the forces as a child. The starched dungarees with big pockets close to the knees were something fascinating, crisp uniforms, shining stars, glistening equipment everything used to mesmerise us. The wooden pointer with a white tip in a pocket on the shoulder was awesome. I even remember going through every detail of an army ambulance. One was very impressed by the fans inside as one had never seen them in cars also that time.

Today, during Republic Day Parade, the main highlight is the equipment that the country displays. It gives an inherent sense of security as the commentator gives the description of the various tanks, guns and missiles. The mind starts appreciating the skills of the pilots who do formation flying, or refuel midair, or do a vertical Charlie right in front of your eyes. Your mind doesn’t register when you hear that all these aircrafts have come from faraway air bases like Pune, Delhi Ambala etc on a precise call and accurate time. How can one stage manage a machine moving at double the speed of sound to fly past exactly when the last marching contingent has just saluted the President? Well friends, the coordination, the discipline is mindboggling and that is what impresses us.

The marching contingents are no less matter of pride and honour when all those Gorkha hats tilted at just the precise angle do an eyes right. The “turras” of the pagris suddenly appearing broadside like a peacock displaying its feathers is an awesome experience to see. The front foot lifted higher than the shoulder and dug in the tarmac for Dahine Dekh (Eyes Right). The dipping of the tank barrels and turning towards the President as a mark of respect is mind blowing. The commentator when he starts listing out the decorations of each passing contingent, one is really baffled to hear what mettle these people are made of. Yes one does get a lump in the throat and moist eyes when a widow of a brave heart comes to the President to take a medal which her husband won. It is heart breaking on hearing the citation about his bravery. Ones head bows down in respect and gratitude and a small prayer to thank the martyr that brother because of you we all are alive today.

I do not know what JNU people are made of. I am sure they would be more patriotic than all of us. Fortunately or unfortunately I too am a graduate from JNU only thing is my campus was in NDA. I wish you guys learn to make peace and also learn to be prepared for war. All those who oppose a tank being displayed in the campus deserve a water tank to remind them to save water. Please take inspiration from water tank and debate whether we stand by our Army or otherwise. If installing busts of personalities they want to emulate satisfies them, so be it. I only have one request friends that please ensure that no bird droppings are seen on those busts. Ensure every student knows whose statue it is and what he did in his life time. Please make sure that at least once a year you all go and salute this great man rather than sitting under the shade of the statue and make plans of how to create the next kanhiya like episode.

I having served my motherland more than 20 years in the Army would request you if you are so interested in history and are so vehement against putting a tank, kindly put a bust of all Param Vir Chakra winners with space for more to come for a change. I am sure they too shall form part of Indian history. These war heroes have definitely given you the freedom to attack your VC to fire verbal salvos towards him with words which neither have direction nor will meet any target. Will they ever understand why we say Jai Hind and Bharat Mata ki Jai, I wonder!!!!!!!!!

 

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

 

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!!!!!!

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

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!!!!!!!!

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!!!!!!!!

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

LEARNING AS YOU GO

I was a happy go lucky chap in school interested in everything co curricular. I had no particular aim in life as such. Then one fine day my “brainwashing” started. I was in a school which wore a uniform, had a kind of military discipline; it also had strict teachers as also officers of the Armed Forces such as Colonels, Squadron Leaders, Flight Lieutenants, Captains of the Indian Navy and Army above all my dad was more OG (Olive Green) than OG can be. I was made to focus on only one thing and that was NDA. So I actually got used to this indoctrination technique, where everyone you met did not ask you how were you, but how well your preparation for NDA was. I did not disappoint anyone as I joined the illustrious institution.

My second makeover was done in NDA. Whatever shades of the civil life was left in me got converted into becoming a cadet? My morning prayers used to start with I love my country and continues as such. This cadet could manage a cup of cold coffee to a bicycle valve, a KD (Khaki Dress) to a raincoat out of thin air. I could roll in my sleep and crawl while resting, eat doing a head stand. I could dance without music and enjoy my supper in empty plates. I could produce a pen and paper even while wearing an under wear, though we hardly wore any. I fought daily battles with bedbugs which is a torture technique I mastered. I could let a bee or a fly sit on my nose without scratching or swatting at it. I could blow hot & blow cold in the bathroom sessions; I could roll up hill and up a staircase. I could jump in blind wells of the “Charlie” kind. I could navigate with no map in all out of bound areas. My nose was so sensitive that I could detect a fag three squadrons away. I did “Savdhan Chal” to every scooter, car, horse and dog on a leash. I could watch movies with my back towards the screen. I could run fifteen miles between dinner and lights out. I could beat Shivaji in climbing Singharh fort. I could sham, I could pill, and I could feign the biggest limp. I could improvise conjunctivitis with paste rubbed in my eyes. I could sleep 25 hours in a day if I had the choice. I could only keep awake if a lady teacher took my class. Overall, I was brain washed in such a manner that I forgot who I was. It was surprising they conferred on me a graduate’s degree at the end of it. After all I was on a journey to be in the noblest profession.

My brain washing continued in IMA. Well, I was promoted from Cadet to Gentleman Cadet. You learnt the honour code, you learnt military law. One mastered the art of disguise, not to camouflage for battle but from the Drill Ustad to go to Dehradun to meet some girls. I was drilled hard to keep the integrity of my motherland till the peril of my life. I promised to go where my duty needed me by land, sea or air. I pledged my life to the nation and the tri colour, to keep it safe from all external aggression and internal disorders. I was put through my paces of everything what I needed to lead men to battle. I was conditioned to keep the safety welfare and honour of my men foremost always and every time, the honour of my country  came next and my own safety and comfort came last always and every time. I was now transformed into becoming an Indian Army officer, young, full of josh, rearing to go.

I joined my unit in the deserts and was conditioned to become a desert fox. I was trained to not only fire weapons but to strip a vehicle apart and put it back together again. I was accustomed to learn to change oils, open a BMP track, taste petrol or diesel depending on the flavour of the day. I could munch on sand with food, and live on limited water. Above all, I was hardened to be happy in all circumstances. I was skilled to be a jack of all trades. I was supposed to know what a pink Gin was as also a Molotov cocktail; I memorised names and numbers of everyone in my Unit. I could fill a 3008 or a 958 as if writing letters to my “would be”. I learnt to ride a camel and drive a BMP as a second profession. I could communicate with hand, flag, radio, eyes, bird calls, and you name it. I was taught to remain silent and avoid even the rustle of my clothes. I was tempered to walk in the sands survive in the heat, snow and jungles. I was determined to eliminate the enemy before they get into our side of the border. I was at ease to look after the ladies as well as children, I was told to be compassionate and kind. I was taught how to live and work with the men; overall I was made into a unique fighting machine, tough, resolute, upright, caring, honest, dedicated, and professional, a man proud to adorn the uniform, a man proud to lead his men.

As I led my life’s journey I learnt cultures from the north to south, east to west of this country. I learnt to ski with the same ease as I could jump with parachutes from all sorts of aircrafts. I mastered the art of being a champion rock climber. I mastered many languages including three of foreign origin. I soon became a professional logistician during near war situations and moved everything by rail, land and air including the dogs we befriended at our posts. I learnt to balance between private and professional life. I learnt how I could live without my family especially my child whom I could never see taking her first steps or when she started to talk.  I was sent to the Capital where I saw the highest offices of the government of India function. Overall, my indoctrination continued unabated.

I one day brainwashed myself to revert back to the civvies streets. I let myself to be trained again at India’s finest management institute in Ahmedabad. I prepared myself that hence forth no lunch is free. Privilege to get a gypsy at the railway station with a glass of tea won’t be there anymore. I will have to stand in queue if I want to pay my bills. I must re-learn to ride a scooter, buy milk and vegetables. I brainwashed myself to iron my clothes and go to the market for a haircut. I prepared myself to wash my own car, polish my own shoes and shine them better than while in service. I just transformed myself to now live with and live for my family. I geared up that now my priorities in life are different from what they used to be but I shall continue with India first and a veteran for life.

In a life span of 54 odd years, I would have adapted myself to 54 types of places, circumstances, living conditions, bosses, situations, state of mind and state of affairs; basically I learnt to remain cool under any circumstances that life can throw at me. My blood and DNA will always remain Olive Green. Will I keep learning as I go? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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!!!!!!!!!

YE MERA HINDUSTAN HAI  

A SHORT POEM
Har jagah kataar hai. 
 
Dheemi  hamari raftaar hai.
              
Na bajta dilon main sitar hai.    
 
Peeth main log bhonkte kataar hai.
 
Rote rahna hamara dharm siddh adhikaar hai.               
 
Karna sirf bhrashtachaar hai.     
 
Milawat ka garm bazaar hai.    
               
Koi sunta nahi hamari guhaar hai.  
    
Bhai kaisi yeh sarkaar hai.
                 
Jis main sirf paison ka vyapaar hai.           
 
Har shaks dikhta lachaar hai.   
              
Naukri bhi milna dushwaar hai.  
            
Dushman kar raha atyachaar hai. 
             
Dharm ke kewal thekedaar hain.    
       
Par koshish jaari har baar hai.  
                      
Ye Bharat hai Bhai Jis se mujhe pyaar hai…… 
 
JAI HIND

DEATH OF KASHMIR

Time now has come to let go of Kashmir or whatever is left of it. I say this with a heavy heart because my blood boils at every drop which falls. I also express my heartfelt condolences to all those associated to Lt Fayaz. I too get associated with him being an Ex-NDA. Above all he too adorned the Olive Greens of which I am as proud still even after having hung my uniform ten years back.

I go back to my piping ceremony after I had taken oath to serve the mother land by land, sea or air, where my Mom and Dad’s joy knew no bounds that their son is now part of a different clan. The glisten in their eyes, the tears which rolled down my mother’s cheeks, the hug which my Dad and brother gave as if to say, now we have given you to India, fare well, and keep the honour of our family and this country supreme always and every time. We brought you thus far and now pave your own way forward. The burden of that one pip on my shoulder was really heavy but a dream come true. I am sure all of us who have stepped across “ANTIM PAG” (final step)would relate to what I say. Imagine all dreams of the parents of Fayaz got shattered, all dreams of this young man crushed, never to be fulfilled again. 2nd RAJ RIF lost a future leader who was about to start his journey. Sad indeed!

I can imagine what tough life this young officer would have had. I can imagine what his parents and family would have gone through to make him an officer. I can also conjecture that this would have been their greatest fear that how the anti India elements will treat their son when they come to know that he has joined the Indian Army. How his parents must be shivering at the thought of any harm coming to him. The harm came and today he sleeps in peace. Fayaz was about to embark on journey but was shot in cold blood by these barbarians. The murderers achieved their aim. However, now the Army has to achieve aim plus. Firstly, they must find his killers and eliminate them at the earliest. Secondly, to look after the bereaved family the way the forces look after any martyrs family. Thirdly, motivate at least 100 more people of his village and surrounding areas to become officers of the forces so as to give a shut up call to these HIZB dastards. Fourthly, give all armed forces personnel proceeding on leave adequate protection from the evil hands of terrorists. It may have an additional burden on the battalion deployed nearby; well it now should be part of the SOP. Fifthly, to get the intelligence network going to find out all overt and covert supporters of these monkeys and eliminate them as also instill fear of God in them so that they dare not try anything like this again. Lastly, get hold of the parents these cowards & their supporters and keep them under pressure to surrender.

I saw and experienced firsthand the people of Kashmir just after elections of 1996. I think the mentality has not changed much since. Hatred for the armed forces did exist then but they feared the army gun. The hatred continues today also, however fear of the gun has gone as CAPFs and police have weapons but cannot and do not fire. Kashmiri’s fear militants as they not only fire but take their women to bed at will by pointing their weapons. Kashmiri’s now pelt stones as weapons and shield terrorists besides hampering military operations. Do we draw a lesson from this? Covert recruitment and brainwashing of young minds was being done then & it still continues. Common Kashmiri feared death by the security forces of their kin who had joined militancy or had gone across for training. Today, recruitment is done openly thanks to the political mis-governance over the decades. Size of population has increased so rapidly that the parents find it as an alternative to employment as they get food for the family. It has been proved that they get paid for both stone pelting and being a militant or a militant supporter. Only thing that has not changed is the ineffective politicians of Kashmir who have only done Haqumat on Riasat-e-Kashmir. They just want funds in whichever way and yet never had a concrete solution for Kashmir.

If you take a Kashmiri in private, he will talk to you like a parrot and if you talk to him in public he would act dumb as a dumbo. He may not even recognise you. You call a Kashmiri to your post he will get half the village along in tow. Out of which half would be chest beating women as if the heavens have fallen on earth. You go to a village, kids will line up as you are the toffee uncle. They will peep trough every balcony, follow your patrol like a shadow, and take you to the maulvi’s house or the village headman’s house. Moment you halt and speak to one, they all will just evaporate.

I remember very vividly that a suspect was picked up by my battalion and was taken for interrogation. My company being the closest was sent to cordon and search, especially his specific house. On reaching the house, it happened to be one of my informers house. This person was really innovative to earn money and toiled like hell. He worked on the local hydel project 15 kms from his village. He ran a tea shop on the hydel road. He ran a vegetable shop in his village. The vegetables used to come from Srinagar by the local bus and dropped at his tea shop in Kangan as it became an unofficial bus stop. From there he used to lug it on his back. Even my post used to get home delivered boxes of tomatoes. People around had turned purple with jealousy from this guy and his family. His son in law and daughter used to run a tailor shop in the village. Wife ran poultry and a dairy. He used to take leave and go into the walnut jungles to get “Guchhi” a kind of very costly rare variety of mushroom. To fix this man people connived and got his son in law arrested for possessing a weapon. They almost shattered that hard working family on behest of an influential Gujjar politician in that area.

I drifted into nostalgia once again. The militants and their ilk cannot stand people who are well settled and have jobs. Fayaz I have no words to express my grief brother and I feel sorry for the politicians of Kashmir as none of them have uttered a word for you. People perhaps could not attend your funeral as they would be taken as supporting the Army, never mind. The Hurriyat has gone underground as they don’t care for Kashmir anymore. At this rate death of Kashmir is eminent so India it is high time we part ways with them. Jamhuriat never came into being, Kashmiriat is non-existent, Insaniyat is too big a word for the Kashmiri people to understand, so let them take azadi and go to hell for all I care. They are not worth it. Every drop of blood fallen on Kashmiri soil of any Indian will pinch and hurt me and we can no longer bear loss of our colleagues falling to militant bullets. PM Sahib let them go. Let them become “gulam’s” (slaves) once more. Within one year they will ask for azadi from the other side too. We should let Kashmir die or should we continue to live with the rot, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DECISION OR INDECISION

One more Paki attack, another assault at our sovereignty, more bodies mutilated, a few more widows, more humiliation, pressure by politicians and peaceniks to show restraint till it is right time to resume talks, some pause before retaliation, some more salutes to the martyrs, some more friends draped in the Tri colour consigned to flames, some more media coverage, only kari ninda,  hectic parleys behind closed door in Delhi,  party spokespersons on  TV channels with verbal diarrhoea, more frustration for the Commanding Officers who may have been sacked by now, just some more of the usual stuff as we are now used to it in India.

I am not sure if the PMs agenda is sab ka saath. I find there is hardly any saath with the armed forces. Sir, what wrong have they done if I they have chosen the profession of arms? People can be safe in their beds every night, read stories to their children even if they come back late. But all those who sleep in their beds because of us including you, do not treat us the way we should be treated and looked after. We obey orders, right or wrong we don’t question. We charge at the enemy with full consciousness that these could be the last few moments we are breathing without a second thought. We forget we too have families. We keep the nation first. Even if wounded, we ensure that our comrades’ reach to safety before it is too late. We carry our dead and wounded out of battle at the peril of our lives knowing that risking our lives for a fallen comrade may lead to death. That is the spirit we function with. Where is this spirit in the political and bureaucratic circuit? We feel betrayed when we don’t find your saath. Is it because we are not your vote banks?

Decision now is delayed from your side Mr PM, if you want vikas then two things we need to sort out straight away, one is Pakistan and the second is Kashmir. Vikas of this country is directly proportional to the strength you give to the armed forces. The way you develop and nurture your armed forces will pay you dividends. I am not making this up, you may see the world history and realise that the more powerful you are militarily the more people respect you across the world. Our senior generals have been crying hoarse to change gears. Too long the vehicle has been idling in neutral. First of all let us have a Defence Minister who understands D of defence. I would rather say have a person who may not know politics at all. If people without defence qualification can look after defence or finance then I have no doubts that a person with a defence background will definitely do a better job. Just get your finance minister on his toes to allocate what is needed for the forces.

We are just past the half way mark of this government’s tenure. I am sure there would be someone keeping a count of the body bags vs infiltration bids foiled vs cease fire violations done by Pak in this period. I am not counting the violence and this latest spate of separatism in the valley. Mr PM let me be frank, if there has to be an all out war or even a localised action with Pakistan, give the orders now. My apprehension is that you may delay this decision till as late as you’re campaigning to start for the next elections. I can assure you I will not vote for you if my prediction is true. You scored enough points in the UP elections on the surgical strikes; I feel it is unfair to gather public sentiment to win elections firing form our shoulders. Let me in the same breadth tell you, because you had unflinching faith in the armed forces to deliver during surgical strike you got the guts to give a decision to let us go. Remember, we are reliable and respectable people. We don’t do politics on the lives of our men. We do what we say and say what we mean. We don’t ask for votes, we don’t want cheap popularity, we just want decisions. We want your backing; we want your support to sort this menace called Pak. Kashmir being purely political, we leave it to you and your ilk.

The hurt caused by the wounds given by the enemy heal in due time, though some scars are left to remind us of the duel we fought. The scars caused due to indecisions from the head of “our own family” are far more hurting. India has paid a heavy price till date for indecision of various governments and needs to recover every inch of ground lost and every paisa that we have wasted in this proxy war. The cost of war has to be borne by us. We have already paid too much interest over the years; time now is ripe to settle the “principal” once for all. Few militants gave our MPs run for their money when they attacked parliament. They sent complete forces to the borders for one year just to count the sand dunes it seems. Kargil happened and we had to win what was ours back at such a heavy cost. We pardoned them in 1971 & 1965. Enough is enough. Let take back what is ours in 2017 as was decided in 1947. It is now or never. Armed forces are ready but are the dhoti and tie walas ready?

I am not a war monger but my heart aches form everyday news of my comrades falling in the line of duty. I as a veteran today have a feeling that if the indecision to act against the enemy keeps prolonging, frustration within the forces will reach its peak, tolerance levels of the forces will go down. Consequences will be that there could be fewer people joining the forces. There would be more martyrs than the living to be saluted. The rogue will keep showing us a thumb every day and we will keep taking it lying down. This may also lead to a collapse of a well oiled, obedient, disciplined, uncomplaining, professional, fearless team of dauntless men and women of the Armed Forces.

If the relationship of the forces and the government has to continue like this then there is a famous quote stating “We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.” Will you prove me wrong Mr PM, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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