Tuesday, March 31, 2009



Prof Dr Colonel K Prabhakar Rao (Retired)

In fact, there have been deliberate, determined, well planned and sustained efforts in the past to denigrate army in the society. Movies have contributed in this direction to a great extent. In many movies, a colonel or major is shown as a comic figure and joker. He keeps fiddling his 12 bore gun very often and keep saying I shall shoot you often as if there is jungle law in the country. Some times, retired army colonels chase thieves with a pistol in the hand and running in market. They are shown with Golf caps in full suit even at home and walk with a walking stick of Victorian era. Some times, they are shown blowing air frequently in to the barrels of pistols. Some times retired army officers are also shown wearing uniform with full medals at home. A real mockery indeed! Some times, a retired major and retired Superintendant of police keep fighting ( friendly of course). Generals are shown with large moustache and laugh loudly ha…haa… heee…heee…huuu…huuu..ow…oww..oww and doing nothing. They are always in full service dress with peak cap all the time. Only the cranky director knows why. Army officers are shown driving Lambretta scooters as they could not afford better transport in earlier days. A district collector is shown as king. Funny looking youngsters are shown in DIG uniform and kid looking guys sport SSP uniform indirectly denigrating army and its officers. Systematically army has been reduced to pittance over these years while service officers lived in false world of their own under the garb of regimental traditions feeling happy over dinner nites and ladies nites. It is army’s fault. Cadre review they accepted and pulled rug under their own carpet and burnt their own boat mid seas. Colonel’s uniform was degraded while police upgraded themselves. Untold damage has been accepted by top brass who have retired now and have gone untraced. Slowly top lids of officers are opening. They are seeing how damage has been done and now they understood how they have been fooled all these years. The current turmoil is the result. Yet there are many service guys who think talking all these is rubbish and live in their own world. They also condemn such people as frustrated and condemned men without realizing that it is mostly other way. Where it is written that army has to be a holy cow to be slaughtered and screwed by each and every one in India? Why all army should accept all nonsense in terms of equations, precedence, pay that stand no logic. Recently Ashok Chakras given after Bombay attacks have revealed how the other side has degenerated. It has shown how the other side could stoop down to promote their own men ( With all due apologies to the fallen men). Think of Kargil martyrs and many young officers who have died in Kashmir ever since fighting Jihadis in Kashmir and the insurgents at other places like Nagaland, Manipur, Assam. How many fallen men have been honored? One could probably count on fingers. Did they not deserve highest awards? Many have disappeared unsung. All of a sudden some guys who got shot in vehicles without even drawing the weapon are believed to have displayed great valor and are given the Ashok Chakra and it shows where army stands to day. The apathy of Army top Brass in recommending awards to own officers on various counts such as VSM for good work done reveals own short comings of the establishment. While army tried to cut own wings the other side flourished. It grew new wings. Why then expect and cry that best guys are not coming to join army? Why should they, to put things straight? It is no more a no. 1 service now,. Army has to assert and regain its place in the country. It is no doubt a difficult task. Some one says in future no more army will be required . Very high tech war is fore seen and army is expected to become irrelevant. Then who will hold ground after wars? Will these babus with pen and pencils, sharpener and a rubber? It is only the soldier who finally ensures the safety of the nation. Nehru believed that army was no more required because he thought that India after following much publicized panch sheel would be safe in the world. He was happily stabbed in back by the Chinese leaders. Chinese have swallowed our land that we can never regain. He also said in Parliament over a debate during Chinese debacle that not even a blade of grass grows there ( Occupied land).A stalwart like Ram Manohar Lohia in Parliament had to tell him that On his ( Nehru) head too nothing grew. With such leader presiding over India’s destiny at most crucial times, army has been degraded to a very low level. Why cry hoarse? Army has to assert itself very strongly. Its future lies in it or systematically it would be turned into a home guards force. Day is not far off. Think of a Home guard constable on the street, one will get answer about what is in waiting in days to come.

Tom Dick and Harry in India can fight for pay
But services can not do.. do not know why
Murky game of denigrating services appears to be the aim
For ills and failures of these guys ,army they blame
Army is seen as holy cow to be butchered
that is to lower head and get slaughtered
All these sundry guys are now with the butchers knife
And they feel army guys in India have to have no life
They forget that they are safe by virtue of Army
And their kids sleep cozy in arms of nanny
Army’s blood flows down the ravines in this land
While the civilian babus play their tricky brass band
The guys have to soon wake up and remove their hood
And India does not belong to only this dead wood
All have the right to demand their rights
After having set right their loosing sights
Once on a boat army guys travelling were few
They some how loosened a vital ship screw
They had however had no inkling and clue in waiting
While the sea finally into her fold drew all along with the crew

The present generation who are writing cock and bull stories condemning Armed forces are clueless what war is. In spite of so much technological development America is fighting purely conventional war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Man is still mot important on all these wars. Can a Tank be driven by remote and win battles. Only a fool would think so. Talk of high tech war by these self acclaimed pseudo strategists is all ….. better say less….When every one on the earth can ask for more why not army? Is it because they are bound by army act? No one gets any thing free in army and army guy pays for everything. Can any one think of civil servants paying when they visit camps and all is free for them? Think of army officers visiting Delhi on some duties. Except some senior officers, most of them run around for accommodation and transport. During my service, I had to rough it out on old Lambretta scooter to army head Quarters. I could afford only that. No transport was provided by the unit. Can an IAS or IPS guy go on scooter even if he is the junior most? Let these people who are writing about army negatively take up arms and fight the jihadis and stay in Siachin and Naga land, Along or Nathula. Then they understand what is uniform like. Till then this nonsense talk goes on.

In democracy, army has to stay behind as believed by every one and that has been the practice. The civilian leaders who get elected to the parliament through elections ( Pseudo and debatable )become masters and decision makers. Some win by booth capturing and spending money. It is OK and accepted in a democracy in whatever form it is. Usually committees are formed for taking major and vital decisions. However, most of the times the top executive like Prime Minister of the country decides the policy and minister of external affairs and the coterie beats the drum and pipe band in tune singing…yes sir…yes sir… three bags full. If we recall Pandit ( Wise man? ) Nehruvian times, the decisions were mostly believed to be his own based on his futuristic thinking supposed to be the wisest. He was considered a visionary. But his vision brought India great misfortune in the form of Chinese war. His lop sided decision on relations with China is well known and it boomeranged. His cockeyed policy of Kashmir calling for ceasefire when Indian army was at the verge of regaining entire Kashmir from Pakistan has converted Kashmir into a shit pot. Now entire country is being engulfed by the shit pot in the form of Jihad. Armed force’s plea for better equipment for modernization went unheeded. The results are very clear. The country was subjected to the most humiliating insult at the hands of PLA ( Peoples liberation of Army) that can never be forgotten and neither we are in a position to erase the insult by any means. It would be mocking at us every time. This gives food for thought for the wisdom of leaving the security of country entirely into the hands of whimsical self glorified glory hunters running after Nobel prizes that invariably landed the country in to trouble. On the other hand, consider Indira Gandhi’s times. Manekshaw had his say in conduct of 1971 war. Yet earlier, General Timmayya had no say in 1962 war and the greatest rift between Army and MOD ( minister of Defence) took place. Timmy has gone down the history as the greatest General we had while Krishna Menon brought no glory to himself who landed the nation in dire straits. Although it would be disliked by the leaders and Babus the need for involving Defence forces in the matters of taking decisions on the matters of national Defence and security, it is very important and this would be greatly condemned and resisted by the babus who have no clue of military matters. They would also attribute motives to the sane idea. Army may not be politicized where they can call shots as is being done in Pakistan. But they must have a role to play in planning national security. Bombay attack is a an eye opener. What was coast guard doing that is entrusted with coastal security? They are mostly busy comparing themselves with Navy as Police men and Para military forces do in comparison to army copying rank badges, sword and uniform, flags, star plates, officers messes, Darbars, sainik Sammelans and parades. The fact is that these secondary much glorified forces are wasting time in such meaning less self elevation tricks than making the country secure. It is time army, Navy and Air force become part of decision making process in matters of national security. The usual meetings of Joint Chief of Staff and Chiefs of Staff with PM or President appears to be an eye wash and ceremonial with no consequences except for official records and for keeping the senior guys in good humour.

Dr K Prabhakar Rao

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